Risk & Business Magazine F.A. Peabody Insurance Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 20


Are You An Accidental Diminisher ?

Diminishers Vs . Multipliers

Gregory 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 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