Are You a Multiplier or Diminsher?

Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown in their book “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” (Harper Business June, 2010), examine why some leaders (called “Diminishers”) drain capability and intelligence from their teams while others (called “Multipliers”) amplify it to produce better results. This was certainly an interesting read and I just love the concept of creating a genius factory within our organisations where we have multipliers leading groups of multipliers, resulting in exponential growth and development across the entire business. But what impact does this have for learning leaders? Put simply, the same principles will apply! Trainers should be bringing out the intelligence in others and building upon the collective intelligence of the group. Conversely, they should avoid being absorbed in their own intelligence, otherwise they will stifle growth in others and deplete the group of crucial intelligence and capability. From a learning perspective, this means that trainers should be stretching their candidates, rather than breaking them and exploring a wide range of options, rather than leading them down just one narrow path. According to Wiseman and McKeown, there are Five Disciplines of the Multiplier: 1. The Talent Magnet: Attracts and deploys talent at its highest point of contribution. 2. The Liberator: Creates a climate of safety and ambition that both invites and demands people’s best thinking and work. 3. The Challenger: Define an opportunity that causes people to stretch. 4. The Debate Maker: Drives sound decisions through rigorous debate. 5. The Investor: Delivers extraordinary results again and again without direct management. These are all disciplines that are well-suited to the training and assessment environment and should form the genesis of learning leader programs. By extracting people's full capability, Multipliers get twice the capacity from people as Diminishers do. This point alone combined with the opportunity cost, should be compelling enough to make a change in your approach. Marc Ratcliffe CEO, MRWED Group Follow Me on twitter: @MRWED_CEO