What’s Preventing You From Maximizing Your Leadership Potential?

I’ve been writing a lot recently about leadership growth and development. In this installment of my series based on Liz Wiseman’s excellent book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, I’ll discuss two of the most common obstacles that leaders face while on the path to becoming a multiplier.

Wiseman explains why the path to becoming a multiplier is often frought with difficulty: “Multiplier leadership isn’t often the norm. The path of least resistance is frequently the path of the Diminisher . . . It is not hard to be a Multiplier, but it is definitely easier to be a Diminisher.” For example, it’s much easier to give in to the temptation to micromanage employees rather than investing in them by providing opportunities for growth and learning and then trusting them to do the right thing when you’re not looking over their shoulders. Letting go of control is difficult, and it’s always easier to make the wrong choice in the short term, even if your intentions are to do the exact opposite.

Wiseman identifies two major obstacles that many leaders face when trying to become multipliers:

  • Having to work under a diminisher
  • Feeling overloaded and overwhelmed

You can probably relate to one if not both of these “twin obstacles,” as Wiseman refers to them. Working under a diminisher, especially in an organization that encourages those types of leadership practices, can make it feel as though there’s no point in trying to do better. But just the opposite is true. In fact, this particular obstacle can also be an advantage—if you are able to implement better leadership practices, you will stand out against your peers.

Feeling overwhelmed is an equally daunting obstacle. Most of us experience a high level of stress on a daily basis. Technology has ensured that we are never far from the stressors of the office, even when we’re meant to be relaxing. But one thing to consider is how much of your stress is related to your management style. Being a diminisher is exhausting. As Wiseman puts it, “Dimishers not only drain others, they can exhaust themselves trying to stay on top.”

Becoming a multiplier does require an investment of your time and effort. But in the long run, a multiplier leadership style is more efficient and effective. Taking the time now to evaluate your leadership practices will pay dividends in the long run.

If you’d like to have a conversation about how you can take the first step to becoming a multiplier, then let’s get in touch. You can reach me via my website, LinkedIn and on Twitter.

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