Monday, November 4, 2019

Multiply or divide — easy math

Leaders can be a bizarre sort. Many of them are hellbent on personal accomplishment, and I think that holds them back in leadership.

Are they leaders because they want to look, or feel, accomplished, or are they leaders because of their ability to connect, empower and develop?

In Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown's book Multipliers, they point out a hugely important concept: Either you're a multiplier or a diminisher.

A diminisher often is a diminisher by accident. This person follows common leadership practices and tradition, but in the process, shuts down the growth of others. A multiplier is the opposite.

A multiplier promotes the growth and intelligence of others. A multiplier understands that the best measure of leadership is to perpetually create and develop other leaders.
One minor technicality I have with Multipliers is that it uses the word "intelligence" as for what we are multiplying. I get the concept. But by using "intelligence," it seems to promote a fixed mindset instead of growth one. I believe everyone can grow, or be smarter if you will, and we all have the capacity to be multipliers — if we see things that way.

Diminishers often are overworked and tired. They blame a lot and control a lot. They work hard, but keep adding elements to try to help themselves. They often look to outside sources as opposed to inside.

Multipliers focus on wanting their team to have fulfilling opportunities that foster growth. They repeatedly hand off the ball, but stay involve. By staying involved, they don't necessarily direct, but they support. Multipliers expect extraordinary results. They yearn for talented people to be around them, and then they double down on that talent.

Wiseman goes through much more of what makes a multiplier, and the book moves quickly and is rife with insights. I always give leaders the benefit of the doubt, but when we look around us, we sometimes sadly realize that too many diminishers are in our midst. But I am optimistic that they can realize the errors of their ways and become multipliers.

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