How to Become a Multiplier

I’ve written a series of posts addressing the various practices of multipliers, or leaders that multiply the collective intelligence of their organizations. I’ve focused on different types of multipliers and how they maximize various qualities and tendencies in their employees. In this post, I will explain what steps you must take if you want to become a multiplier.

The decision to make major changes in leadership style often comes from a moment of crisis. Maybe your team failed to meet a major goal, or some of your best employees left your organization for better opportunities, or you’re getting pressure from above to work more efficiently. No matter the crisis, adapting your leadership style to reflect multiplier practices is never a bad idea.

In her book Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, Liz Wiseman identifies three initial steps on the path to becoming a multiplier:

The first step involves self-awareness.  Wiseman calls this the “resonance” stage, and it involves thinking about your past experiences. Almost all of us have worked for at least one diminisher, or a person who reduces collective intelligence (and if you haven’t, consider yourself very lucky!). Many of us have also worked for managers that encouraged and inspired. Identify who these players are within your own experience and what they did that made them either diminishers or multipliers in your eyes.

The second step is called “realization.” This is where you begin to consider your own leadership practices. Have you unconsciously adopted some of the diminisher traits you once found discouraging? Are you getting positive feedback on your leadership style from your employees? How about negative feedback? Or are they afraid to give you any feedback at all?

The third stage is “resolve.” If you want to make substantial changes to the way you lead, you must have a strong and genuine desire to do so. Making major changes is not easy, and it requires a sustained commitment.

If you’re ready to become a multiplier, working with a coach is a great way to ensure that you follow through. A coach can be especially helpful during the “realization” and “resolve” stages. By providing an objective perspective on the problems you face and holding you accountable to your commitment, coaching greatly increases your odds of success.

If you’ve made the commitment to becoming a multiplier, I’d love to discuss how I could be of assistance to you. I can be reached via my website, on LinkedIn, and on Twitter.

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