5 Ways Leaders Diminish Others

In the book Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter (HarperBusiness, 2010), authors Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown identify some typically ineffective bosses, as well as those who manage well.

The authors divide leaders into two camps, based on the results they achieve: multipliers or diminishers. I talked about the differences in a previous post.

Diminishers, who hog the spotlight and focus on ways to boost their own careers, fall into five categories:

  1. Empire Builders who hoard resources and underutilize talent
  2. Tyrants who create a tense environment that suppresses people’s thinking and capabilities
  3. Know-It-Alls who issue directives that showcase how much they know
  4. Decision Makers who make centralized, abrupt decisions that confuse the organization
  5. Micromanagers who drive results through their personal involvement

The 5 Disciplines of Genius-Makers

Multipliers follow five principles to bring out the best in people. Each allows workers to stretch so they can contribute greater effort and productivity.

1.    Attract and Optimize Talent: Be a Talent Manager

a. You attract the best people when you take full advantage of their strengths.

b. They subsequently let other talented people know about the benefits of working on your team.

c. Talented people seek opportunities to grow and appreciate your efforts.

2.   Create Intensity that Requires Best Thinking: Be a Liberator

a. You create an intense environment that demands people’s best thinking and work.

b. People flourish under the right amount of pressure and support to perform their best work.

c. You are empathetic, yet firm about expectations for high-quality work.

3.     Extend Challenges: Be a Challenger

a. You define an opportunity that causes people to stretch.

b. You give them freedom to make mistakes, learn from them and be creative.

c. Instead of giving people answers, you ask the right questions and then stay out of their way.

4.    Debate Decisions: Be a Debate Maker

a. You drive sound decisions through rigorous debate.

b. People own outcomes and participate in course corrections without blaming.

c. You challenge your people to ask the right questions and debate the true issues.

5.     Instill Ownership and Accountability: Be an Investor

a. You give other people ownership for results and invest in their success.

b. You hold high expectations across the organization, which leads people to hold themselves and each other accountable.

c. You provide the necessary resources for success.

Do you recognize any of these disciplines in yourself? In which areas do you excel? Where could you use some improvement? The best way to develop effective leadership skills is working with a coach who will stretch you to grow.

Questions? You can reach me here, or leave me a comment here on the blog.

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