Why are some leaders more capable than others? Motivational Speaker, Liz Wiseman, who wrote the book, Multipliers, How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, has done some compelling reasearch to answer this question.
Have you ever worked around someone who makes you feel smarter or more capable? Wiseman calls these leaders multipliers because they use their intelligence to amplify the intelligence of others around them.
Have you ever worked around someone who makes you question your own intelligence? Wiseman calls these leaders diminishers, because they bring down others around them.
As a leader, our role isn't to have all the answers, but to bring those ideas out from others. Most people are overworked and underutilized and being used at a fraction of our capability is exhausting. Your critical skill is not what you know but how to bring out the ideas of others and access to all the brains and skills of those around you.
As a leader, what do you do with the control you have? Do you use it to control situations and people or do you share it with your team? Some leaders spend their energy trying to multiply themselves, they want more of their own ideas to spread, when what they should be doing is asking, how can I engage others ideas?
Multipliers listen, ask questions, empowered others and make them think. Dimishers micromanage, weigh others down, manipulate others and more. Diminishers believe others won't figure problems out without them, so they insert themselves into situations and create stress around them. The trouble is they rarely ask organizations to do things they don't know how to do and it limits growth and innovation.
To be a multiplier, create space and offer challenges, ask questions that assume people around are smart and will figure things out. Multipliers are debate makers and ask others to weigh in on important decisions.