Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Are You A Multiplier or Diminisher?

written by Liz Wiseman

The new women’s minister was eager to lead her team and help them make an even more positive impact on the spiritual lives of the women in the community. She wanted her team to see the potential, so she set the pace and went the extra mile. She injected much-needed energy into their planning meetings, tossing out creative ideas for them to consider. When members of her staff were struggling to keep up, she jumped in and lent a hand to make sure the job got done. When the workload got particularly heavy, she did the heavy lifting and lightened other people’s load. Congregation members noticed a flurry of new programs and that events had an extra special touch. The women’s minister was pleased with the progress but was shocked when a key volunteer staff member resigned, citing heavy obligations elsewhere. Privately to others she acknowledged that she felt she could never keep up with the new women’s minister and that her ideas just weren’t useful. She wondered how she could feel both exhausted and underutilized at the same time.

Have you ever worked with a leader who underutilized your talent and or who made you question your own capability? Or, have you ever worked for a leader who drew on every ounce of your brainpower and even made you more capable? I call the first type of leader a Diminisher and the second type a Multiplier. And, Multipliers don’t just get a little bit more from people; they get more than twice the talent, intelligence and energy of the people around them.   

Often when intelligent, capable people move into leadership roles they assume they should set the standard and have the answers. Despite good intentions, their effect on your team is the same: They are not tapping their full talent.

Here are three signs you might be a Diminisher:

  1. You’re always on. You’re passionate, articulate, and can take up a lot of space in a meeting. You think your passion is infectious; in reality, it might be stifling other people’s thinking or causing them to hold back right when you need them to step up.
  2. You’re an idea-person. You are creative and spout off new ideas for your staff to explore. You think you’re sparking the creative process; in reality, you’re causing confusion.
  3. You’re a rescuer.  You hate to see people struggle, make mistakes and fail.  You think you are protecting them; in reality, you could be weakening them and blocking their learning and growth. 
The good news is that being aware is half the battle. When you lead like a Multiplier, you bring out the best in others, allowing them to contribute the full measure of their intelligence and talent.  

What can you do to be more of a Multiplier and unleash the brilliance of everyone in your ministry? 

Liz Wiseman is the author Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone SmarterWall Street Journal bestselling book, the president of The Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm in California, and a wife and mother of four children.

1 comment:

Chrissy Kirkman said...

Thanks SO MUCH for posting this!! It's great and causes me to evaluate my leadership style.