Are you a multiplier?

The Mindset of Effective Leaders

In the book Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter (HarperBusiness, 2010), authors Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown interviewed and assessed more than 150 leaders on their managerial practices.

The authors divide leaders into two camps, based on the results they achieve: multipliers or diminishers. 

Leadership effectiveness can be judged on a continuum. The following table outlines the differences in these leaders’ approaches:

How The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

Leading like a multiplier requires more than mimicking the approaches described above. You must believe in your people’s capabilities and trust them to use their intelligence and creativity to develop their own solutions. Act as a guide instead of an expert to achieve buy-in and self-sufficiency.

It requires that leaders truly believe that people are smart, motivated, and respond well to coaching. In the work I do with executives, some are naturally supportive of others. They bring out the best in their team.

Others are concerned (unnecessarily so) that without micromanaging, things will go wrong and it will reflect poorly on them as leaders. This diminishes confidence and trust, and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What’s been your experience with leaders like this, who tend to diminish rather than multiply capabilities? I’d love to hear from you; leave a comment.

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