Leadership Series: Being a Multiplier

Posted on May 27, 2016 in Entrepreneur, San Diego Lawyer, Small Business, Small Business Tips and Tricks Series, Success | Comments Off on Leadership Series: Being a Multiplier

Leadership Series: Being a Multiplier


Have you ever met or worked with someone that made you feel smarter, better and like you could do anything? We all have. In some cases it’s a family member, a friend, a co-worker or a boss. Liz Wiseman, former executive at Oracle Corporation and talent researcher calls these people Multipliers

Here is a great quote from her Wall Street Journal bestseller, Multipliers, defining the term and introducing its counterpart, the Diminisher:

“ We’ve all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders. The first type drains intelligence, energy, and capability from those around them and always needs to be the smartest one in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment. On the other side of the spectrum are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. When these leaders walk into a room, light bulbs go off over people’s heads, ideas flow, and problems get solved. These are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. These are the Multipliers.”

Through her research, Wiseman has found that these types of leaders can get 2X the productivity, capacity and intelligence from their employees.

So where are you as a leader?

First off, Wiseman makes clear that being a this isn’t a “binary” state of being, there’s a large spectrum between Multipliers and Diminishers. And second, the attribute of a Multiplier can be cultivated and developed. Following is a summary of the five key disciplines of a Multiplier as summarized by Toby Jenkins.

  1. Talent Magnet – looks for talent everywhere, finds people’s native genius, utilises people to their fullest, and removes blockers
  2. Liberator – creates space (to think, speak, and act), demands the best work and generates rapid learning cycles
  3. Challenger – seeds the opportunity, lays down the challenge, then generates belief in what is possible
  4. Debate Maker – frames the issue, sparks the debate and drives a sound decision
  5. Investor – defines ownership, invests resources and holds people accountable

In addition to working on these five disciplines, its important to check our fundamental assumptions about those we associate and work with. Wiseman shares:

“Diminishers come at a high cost because they are entrenched in two faulty assumptions: 1) they are the leaders because they are the smartest; and 2) accomplishing a bigger task requires the addition of more resources. Multipliers don’t necessarily get more with less. They get more by using more – more of people’s intelligence and capability. We call this the 2X effect. It’s the result of the deep leverage Multipliers get from their resources. When you extrapolate the 2X Multiplier effect to the organization, you begin to see the strategic relevance. Simply said, resource leverage creates competitive advantage.”

So, let’s focus on attracting talent, giving them space to think, speak and act, challenge others, create debate and invest in others. Doing so, we can create to 2X effect in those around us.

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