Risk & Business Magazine Cooke Insurance Risk & Business Magazine Fall 2017 | Page 21

DIMINISHERS VS. MULTIPLIERS BY: LIZ WISEMAN, SPEAKER & AUTHOR “In other words, leaders who are Multipliers essentially double the intellectual power of their workforce at no incremental cost.” people be hindered by our honest attempts to help, teach, or lead by example? Here are five signs that you might be accidentally diminishing your people. 1. YOU SET THE PACE FOR YOUR TEAM. You believe managers should lead by example, and you expect others to follow your lead. But when leaders set the pace, they are more likely to create spectators than followers. 2. YOU’VE GOT THE GIFT OF THE GAB. You are passionate and articulate and can take up a lot of space in a meeting. You like to think out loud, and you are always bursting with ideas. But the enthusiasm you think is infectious might actually be stifling the thinking of others. 3. YOU’RE A VISIONARY. You like to think of yourself as a big thinker, someone who can see the strategic issues, paint a compelling picture of the future, and evangelize it to those around you. Yet, in an attempt to inspire others, you may actually be overwhelming them. 4. YOU’RE A RAPID RESPONDER. When there are problems or opportunities, you make timely decisions that will keep the organization moving ahead with agility and speed. But when leaders make rapid decisions, their people tend to defer to them and learn to wait for decisions to be handed down from above. 5. YOU JUMP IN TO RESCUE PEOPLE. Perhaps you see your people failing and, in a desire to help, you jump in to rescue them or the project. In the moment, jumping in seems to help, but it can actually diminish people’s capability to think for themselves and learn how to spot problems and recover from them. If one or more of these signals resonate with you, there is a good chance that your best intentions might actually be limiting those around you. FROM ACCIDENTAL DIMINISHER TO ASPIRING MULTIPLIER If becoming an Accidental Diminisher is, by definition, unintentional, it is reasonable to believe that one can change course and begin operating more like a Multiplier. Here are three simple but powerful starting points: 1. SHIFT FROM GIVING ANSWERS TO ASKING QUESTIONS. The best leaders don’t provide all the answers, they ask the right questions. Use your knowledge to ask insightful and challenging questions that cause people to stop, think, and rethink. 2. DISPENSE YOUR IDEAS IN SMALL DOSES. If you are an “idea guy” who is prone to tossing out more ideas than anyone can catch, try articulating your ideas in increments. Introduce fewer ideas and leave white space. This will create room for others to contribute, and your words will be more frequently heard and therefore more influential. 3. EXPECT COMPLETE WORK. People learn best when they are fully accountable and face the consequences of their work. Instead of jumping in and fixing the work of others, give it back and let people know what needs to be improved or completed. Ask people to go beyond pointing out problems. Ask them to find a solution. By wrestling with it themselves, they’ll grow their capa bility. Perhaps the most powerful way to begin to make the shift to Multiplier leadership is to start with your assumptions. When Greg (the manager mentioned earlier) realized Michael was underutilized, he changed his perspective, assuming that Michael both could and wanted to contribute more. So, he gave Michael full ownership for capturing their Brazilian partnership strategy and ensured he had greater voice in important meetings. Within just a couple of weeks, Michael was being utilized at 80 percent, and Greg began to see that his most important role was helping people take their thinking to the next level. More than ever, organizations need intentional leaders who both understand how they might be inadvertently diminishing others and want to become Multipliers, who fully utilize and amplify the intelligence and capability of the people around them. + Liz Wiseman teaches leadership to executives and emerging leaders around the world. She is the President of The Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley. Some of her recent clients include: Apple, Disney, eBay/PayPal, Facebook, GAP, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Roche, Salesforce.com, and Twitter. Liz has been listed on the Thinkers50 ranking and named as one of the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world and recipient of the 2016 ATD Champion of Talent Award. 21