What is a Multiplier? In brief, it’s someone who multiplies the efforts of those around them–the effect of which is to, at least, double the productivity of a group. They are in contrast to Diminishers who have a negative effect on the productivity of a group.
Chances are good that you have experienced both a Multiplier and a Diminisher in your career, even if you did not label him/her as such.
The book Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman, contrasts Multipliers and Diminishers using the following matrix:
|Attract and Optimize Talent||Talent Magnet–attracts talent that wants to work for him/her.||Empire Builder–hoards talent and maintains control at the expense of developing others.|
|Create Intensity that Requires Best Thinking||Liberator–produces a climate focused on results that is both comfortable and intense.||Tyrant–to get results, introduces a fear of judgment that stifles thinking.|
|Extend Challenges||Challenger–challenges themselves and others to push beyond what they know and have done before.||Know-It-All–gives directions to showcase their knowledge and competence.|
|Debate Decisions||Debate Maker–drives decisions through rigorous debate from all constituents.||Decision Maker–makes decisions in relative isolation and without meaningful debate.|
|Instill Ownership and Accountability||Investor–provides resources and expectations that stimulate commitment and high performance.||Micromanager–holds on to ownership including attention to details and directly managing for results.|
So, what’s the point?
Simply that you should use the Multiplier/Diminisher concept when you next hire or promote someone. It is another lens to view someone’s career through.
For a long time, we’ve preached paying attention to a person’s values and traits when hiring–along with their competencies, of course. We added the Multiplier/Diminisher “lens” this past Fall to great effect. A few questions during an interview can distinguish between the two–definitely verified by talking to past supervisors and other references.
As an aside, the website for the book Multipliers has an assessment for free to determine whether you are an Accidental Diminisher–for the brave at heart.
As always, please let us know if you would like some help with this topic or any of our newsletter topics from the past…