One of the keynote speakers at the coaching conference I attended, earlier this month, was Liz Wiseman, president of The Wiseman Group and author of Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.
In her talk, she shared with us the key concepts in Multipliers, specifically that there are leaders who attract talent and expand people’s abilities to perform at their best. These are Multipliers.
There are also Diminishers – leaders who are so self-focused that they only invest in building up or protecting themselves, usually at the cost of those around them.
Wiseman talked to us about how the very best resources a company has is their employees and, yet, those very people are often “overworked and underutilized” because, too often, they are being diminished by their leadership, rather than expanded and challenged by their leadership.
“Some leaders seemed to drain intelligence and capability out of the people around them. Their focus on their own intelligence and their resolve to be the smartest person in the room had a diminishing effect on everyone else. For them to look smart, other people had to end up looking dumb. We’ve all worked with these black holes. They create a vortex that sucks energy out of everyone and everything around them. When they walk into a room, the shared IQ drops and the length of the meeting doubles. In countless settings, these leaders were idea killers and energy destroyers. Other people’s ideas suffocated and died in their presence and the flow of intelligence came to an abrupt halt around them. Around these leaders, intelligence flowed only one way: from them to others.
Other leaders used their intelligence in a fundamentally different way. They applied their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capability of people around them. People got smarter and better in their presence. Ideas grew; challenges were surmounted; hard problems were solved. When these leaders walked into a room, light bulbs started going off over people’s heads. Ideas flew so fast that you had to replay the meeting in slow motion just to see what was going on. Meetings with them were idea mash-up sessions. These leaders seemed to make everyone around them better and more capable.”
Have you worked for a Multiplier?
Have you worked for a Diminisher?
What was the difference?
Think about how you show up at work and at home.
Would your co-workers, spouse/partner, or kids say that, when you are around them, you amplify their creativity and ideas and help them grow?
Or are you getting lulled into the ego-satisfaction of being right and demonstrating your own intelligence?
It’s a great way to think about yourself – and your leadership – in a new way.
Growing with you, with love.