A couple of my clients recommended the book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman. Reading it got me thinking about some of the multipliers in my life.
The first person who came to mind was the Director of the Women's Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara where I attended graduate school. In this part-time, work study job she challenged me to develop my skills and knowledge as a workshop leader. She gave me room to learn and grow and then supported my work.
I was given the opportunity to co-lead career development workshops at the Women's Center with Psychologists from the Counseling Center. I also developed my own workshop ideas, including a Mother/Daughter Workshop which I co-led with my own mother.
The director could have given me mundane tasks to do, but instead she encouraged me to learn, grow and stretch myself.
These are some of the qualities of Multipliers.
Through her research of leaders, Wiseman discovered that Multipliers bring out the intelligence in others. People get smarter and more capable around them. They fully utilize people and expect a lot.
On the opposite side of the spectrum are Diminishers who are absorbed in their own intelligence. They stifle, deplete and under utilize the capabilities of others.
The Five Disciplines of Multipliers
1. The Talent Magnet: Attract and optimize talent
2. The Liberator: Require people's best thinking
3. The Challenger: Extend challenges
4. The Debate Maker: Debate decisions
5. The Investor: Instill accountability
Wiseman also describes the attributes of Diminishers: they create a tense environment that suppresses people's thinking, are know-it-alls, and they tend to build empires by hoarding resources and talent. Unfortunately, most of us have worked with and for these folks.
I recall times when I have been a Diminisher and also times when I have been a Multiplier. By reading and applying the ideas in this book, I am going to practice being a Multiplier. Want to join me?