Are you leading as a Multiplier?
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

I have read that after meeting with British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, you would leave feeling that you had been with the smartest person in the world. What an amazing experience that must have been. I have also read that after meeting with Gladstone’s rival British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, you would leave thinking you were the smartest person in the world.  Those who know history well will clearly see the big difference in these two as one being a conservative and the other being a liberal. As I see it, the great difference was the way Disraeli viewed others. Gladstone clearly thought he was the genius in the room, while Disraeli looked for it in others. Disraeli must have been a Multiplier.

In her book, Multipliers, Liz Wiseman identifies five disciplines of the Multiplier as the following:

  1. Attracting and Optimizing Talent
  2. Creating Intensity that Requires Best Thinking
  3. Extending Challenges
  4. Debating Decisions
  5. Installing Ownership and Accountability

Let’s take a look at two of them here, and we’ll discuss the others in Episode 11 of The Next Page podcast.

Creating Intensity that Requires Best Thinking – Multipliers create an environment where people feel free to think and explore options. The Multiplier does this by restraining themselves. They let others speak by leveling the playing field for all involved. Multipliers ask great questions which can reveal the genius in others.  Multipliers also talk about mistakes they have made and create a safe space for others to explore and make mistakes of their own, realizing that this is crucial to innovation.

Debating Decisions – Too often, we as leaders think that we need to be the person with the answers. Multipliers realize that their role is to create the environment where their team debates an issue before deciding on an action. The leader’s task is to frame the issue and spark the debate. Once the debate starts, they ask the tough questions. They seek evidence, make sure everyone speaks, and then they decide.

The question we must ask is: Have we made the people on our team feel as though they are the smartest team in the world? Do they have the confidence to accomplish great things? If we are true multipliers, the answers will be YES.

Join Marisa and me on The Next Page podcast as we discuss these two disciplines as well as the remaining three. We will also take time to discuss what you need to do if you work for a diminisher. You won’t want to miss this episode.

The Next Page podcast can be found here:  iTunes // Google Play // PodBean