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As a business owner – and THE leader of your company – I have a question for you.

Does your leadership style multiply or diminish?

Do you multiply (think amplify) your team’s own leadership skills and talents?

Or are you (intentionally or accidentally) diminishing the team’s own leadership skills and talents?

One of the hallmarks of good leadership is to have a mindset of being a lifelong learner. When we continue to learn and apply, we become better leaders, ones who inspire our people to bring the best and who develop and hone the team’s skills to predict and delegate. That’s where the lift comes in the business. That’s where you take a business from good to GREAT.

Great leadership multiplies and amplifies others.

In the book Multipliers, author Liz Wiseman talks about three types of leaders in organizations:

The Diminisher. Sitting on one end of the leadership spectrum, Diminishers are the type of leaders who just suck the life out of their people. Everything is about them. They have to have their mark on everything. No one else’s idea is as good as their own idea. Not only are Diminishers exhausting, but eventually the squashing of ideas will cause people to shut down or quit because they perceive their value to the organization has diminished.

The Multiplier. In contrast, on the other end of the spectrum stands the Multiplier. This is the kind of leader whom people will go through walls for. It is not that they are necessarily easy. They challenge. They push. They provide opportunities, jobs, and tasks that really stretch out the team’s capabilities. Yet they do it in a nurturing way. They create a culture where the team grows and knows they can trust them. Multipliers have the team’s back and if something doesn’t go well, they’ll guide the team back on track.

The Accidental Diminisher. As it turns out, this third type of leader has a leadership style that nearly all of us have deployed to one extent or another. The Accidental Diminisher is the well-intended manager or leader whose behaviors end up having completely unintended consequences. They are unaware that their “helpful” actions are actually causing their people to shut down rather than step up.

Don’t worry, there is hope for all of us. 

In the book, Wiseman outlines a number of actionable steps that leaders can implement to overcome those behaviors and move from being an Accidental Diminisher to a Multiplier. And as Wiseman states, “The critical skill isn’t what you know, but it’s your ability to access what your people know.”

During her research, she found that Multipliers get almost 2X the capability out of a team that Diminishers get. To look at it another way, Diminishers receive only 30% to 50% of the team’s capabilities while Multipliers get 80% to 100% from their people.

To put those percentages in perspective, let’s say you have a $1,000,000 payroll spend. With a team full of Diminishers, at a rate of 30% capability, that’s only $300,000 of value on a $1,000,000 spend! You might as well put the other $700,000 in the fireplace and burn it. That is not chump change. That’s how significant this is in organizations.

So, if you are interested in doubling the capability of your people, get Wiseman’s book Multipliers and start putting her insights to work with yourself and other leaders in your organization. This will raise the level of competence with your leaders, and allow room for the organization to continue to grow and prosper.

If you’re looking to further develop and grow your leadership style, pre-register now for our next Leadership Lab, coming this September.

Cheyenne Bennett profile picture
Cheyenne Sweeney

Cheyenne’s passion for serving people is evident in her gift for engaging the entire management team – from the owner to key executives during business sessions. Always having an interest in self-awareness and leadership, she helps teams better understand their role in the overall business strategy and company culture. 

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