Risk & Business Magazine Cooke Insurance Risk & Business Magazine Fall 2017 | Page 20

DIMINISHERS VS. MULTIPLIERS Are You An Accidental Diminisher? Diminishers Vs. Multipliers G regory Pal hired Michael, a talented individual with rich foreign trade experience, to help his renewable energy company’s efforts to expand rapidly into Brazil. But in an effort to help Michael, Gregory would often jump in to solve problems. Because Michael was still new, Gregory gave him the easy assignments and piecemeal tasks that were not suited for someone like Michael with highly developed skills. Then, because Michael was the only team member working remotely, Gregory would often end up representing him in meetings. After a few months, Michael was using just 20 to 25 percent of his talent on the job. DIMINISHERS VS. MULTIPLIERS Michael’s case is hardly an isolated one. In fact, it illustrates an all-too-common workplace phenomenon, leadership poorly exercised. Consider these two questions: Have you ever worked for a leader who underutilized your 20 talent or made you question your own intelligence? Or, have you worked for a leader who drew on every ounce of your brainpower and even made you smarter and more capable? We call the first type of leader a Diminisher and the second type a Multiplier. Diminishers tend to assume that “people will never figure this out without me,” while Multipliers believe “people are smart and will figure it out.” After analyzing data from more than 200 leaders across four continents, our research showed that most managers underestimate how widely employees’ talent is underutilized. When we began, we expected that Multipliers would get more from their people. However, we were surprised by just how much more they actually received: Multipliers accessed employees’ capabilities 1.97 times than Diminishers, nearly twice as much. In other words, leaders who are Multipliers essentially double the intellectual power of their workforce at no incremental cost. Imagine what your organization would be like if everyone led like a Multiplier, successfully enabling the team to apply the full range of its intelligence and depth of capabilities? The problem, however, is that most leaders think they are getting more from their people than they really are. THE ACCIDENTAL DIMINISHER While the stereotypical Diminisher is the tyrannical bully and know-it-all, it turns out that Diminishers actually aren’t all jerks, and some are really good people. While the narcissistic leaders grab the headlines, the vast majority of diminishing happening inside our workplaces is done by the Accidental Diminisher — managers with the best of intentions, good people who think they are doing a good job leading. How might we, with the very best intentions, be having a diminishing impact on the people we lead? Can