Multipliers: How the best leaders make everyone smarter

I recently attended Business Forum 2012 in Melbourne and witnessed Liz Wiseman keynote presentation on the concepts from her book Multipliers: How the best leaders make everyone smarter.  She discussed the experiences we have all had over the years with the very different leadership types and illustrated the benefits for every organisation to employ Multipliers.

“People won’t figure it out without me”

The Diminisher drains your intelligence and capability by supressing your talent and ambitions for their need to be the smartest person in the room.  They are known as The Empire Builder, The Tyrant, The Know-it-all, The Decision Maker and The Micromanager.

“People are smart and will figure it out”

The Multiplier amplifies the intelligence and capability of their people by engaging and encouraging thoughts that ultimately lead to results beyond initial expectations.  They are known as The Talent Magnet, The Liberator, The Challenger, The Debate Maker and The Investor.

Liz then took us through a self-reflection as part of illustrating the detrimental impact Diminishers have on organisations compared to Multipliers.  She asked the following questions:

  1. What did your Diminisher do to you?
  2. How much intelligence did they get out of you? (0-100%)
  3. What did your Multiplier do to you?
  4. How much intelligence did they get out of you? (0-100%)

There was consensus around the actions of Diminishers (they prohibit growth, supress motivation) compared to Multipliers (trigger ideas, stretch and challenge) as well as the average scores from the room at the forum (mine included) were identical to the results from Liz researching 150 leaders from 35 companies (pre and post the financial crisis) in the United States.  On average Diminishers accessed 48% of their people’s intelligence compared to Multipliers at 95%.  Therefore, it was concluded that Multipliers achieve 2 times more capability, energy and intelligence from their people than Diminishers.  The gap between the two types of leaders is quite outstanding and costly for any organisation.

http://multipliersbook.com/

Are you a Diminisher or a Multiplier?


Emotional Intelligence and Developing Others

Over the last couple of years I have been exposed to the works of Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis in relation to Emotional Intelligence (EI) and how it relates to managing and leading.  More recently I have been interested in how EI can be applied in every-day situations, particularly in the work environment with developing my employees.

I see developing others being the advancement of the interests of employees through coaching, mentoring and staff development.  Managers who understand their employees and know what motivates them are in a position to further the organisational goals at the same time as developing multi-skilled employees.  Another component is the provision of timely and constructive feedback which can take the form of performance management.

Coaching

 “…[coaching] focuses on uncovering actions that enable people to contribute more fully and productively” DuBrin, Dalglish and Miller (2006)

Coaching is a process of one on one development that can be professional and personal in nature.  Coaching creates capabilities; actionable outcomes; and increased performance.

Mentoring

 “…[mentor is] a more experienced person who helps to develop a protégé’s abilities through tutoring, coaching, guidance, and emotional support” DuBrin, Dalglish and Miller (2006)

Similarly mentoring develops capability and it is a process whereby a senior takes the junior under their wing to learn the nature of the organisation.  To this end developing others requires trust from all parties to the relationship.

EI provides a framework for the manger or leader to assist in developing others as it works hand in hand with the EI competencies of emotional self-awareness and empathy.  To be effective a manager or leader needs to exhibit an understanding of their employees if they want to be able to develop them further.  They need to gain an understanding of what motivates them; what makes them feel valued; what expectations they have; and what they see for the future.  The understanding of employees links directly with how a manger or leader builds empathy and trust with their employees.

Positive Regard

Richard Boyatzis developed a model for effective management performance and identified twenty one characteristics of management competence.  Within the human resource management cluster is the EI competency of Positive Regard which is critical in the effectiveness of managing and developing employees.  He defined positive regard as “…a competency in which people believe in others”.  Taken literally, any coach or mentor relationship that is not founded on a belief in the other person is doomed for failure with a negative impact on performance.  The belief mentioned in employees is in contrast to a belief that employees can do their jobs effectively.  It is possible to believe in the employee however that does not necessarily mean they can execute their job.

Positive regard is useful for managing relationships (coaching, mentoring or other) as effective managers are able to make others in the relationship feel valued.  From a valued relationship comes trust and respect which increases performance outcomes.  Having a positive perspective of employees is an enabler to developing and multi-skilling staff to meet organisational and personal goals.

Case Study

Garvey and Galloway (2002) provide a case study description of the beginnings of mentoring at Mentoring at the Halifax plc (HBOS).  The preliminary results of the study confirm the benefits of developing others which is evidenced from the feedback of the mentees such as providing focus; increased confidence; ability to discuss events as they occur; ability to consider alternative courses of action; and the ability to address difficult work situations.  The study also confirms the importance of the relationship with mentees stating that they felt the mentor showed a genuine interest in them; were open and honest; and they felt respected.  The results confirming why developing others is a critical competency to achieve a relationship that is beneficial for employee and organisation.


Self-awareness to become a better business leader

Recently I participated in an executive leadership workshop at Readify.  This reminded me of work I had previously been doing around how to become a better business leader and whether a deeper self-awareness made for a more effective leader.

Self-awareness involves reviewing and analysing feedback about oneself to improve personal effectiveness as a leader.  Self-awareness is influenced by a leader’s personality and gaining an understanding of their personality typology through self-profile and self-audit. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of many personality typology frameworks that aid in identifying a leaders preferences, ways of thinking and how they interact with others.  It allows for a deeper understanding when a leader reviews feedback as part of one’s self-awareness.

Myers Briggs:

I established that a self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses assists the business leader to be better when confronted with varied situations.  After undertaking a variety of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) I confirmed myself as ISTJ and the description rang true mostly.  It identified to me the traits and characteristics that I have a preference towards, which are not always the most effective for the situation.

This activity has enlightened me as a business leader especially on the limitations of my characteristics and in that same vein it has crystallised my strengths that I was reasonably aware of, however I now have a new perspective that will enhancement my effectiveness as a leader.

DISC:

I was introduced to the DISC framework at the executive leadership workshop.  The framework allows for a self-awareness of communication style.  There are four quadrants that focus on style and preference of communication.  We were asked to allocate 10 points across the quadrants to establish our style preference.  There were interesting results when comparing with others’ perspective of your preference of style.  Having an awareness of not only yours, but others style assists with more effective outcomes of negotiations.

A general criticism of personality typologies is that they have the potential to justify poor leadership and/or behaviour based on the leader or followers personality type.  However a leader’s type may suggest how they think or predict that they will act a certain way in a situation there is no excuse for removing the potential for personal growth through self-awareness.

Am I now self-aware? Yes, I am now more aware.  Time and reflection will aid in a deeper self-awareness and being a more effective business leader.


Social Lubricant

It’s the festive season and I think the title says it all for the employee, however what are the implications for the employer and/or manager?  Lots, in this day and age where you can be sued for looking at a person the wrong way where does the liability of an employer cease on the day of the work Xmas party or break up?
Certainly there is a duty of care to ensure all staff are safe (standard OH&S policies) however does that cease at the end of the party? Simple answer is NO.  Employers and managers have a duty of care to ensure that their staff make it home to their family safe.  I think this is straight forward logic, however it gets tricky when you consider alcohol and safety.
Do you only have a duty of care to get staff home safely after a party where alcohol is served or also after normal work days?  I haven’t seen much about this, however I am sure there is some form of negligence law to cover the normal work day.  How does an employer/manager carry out their duty of care after the work Xmas party?  Is a simple cab charge to get home sufficient?  It’s a start but is it enough?  With my employee hat on, I think yes.  I am willing to take responsibilty for my own safety if I have been provided with a cab charge even if I am under the influence of social lubricant.
As a manager of staff over a number of years, I have been concerned when staff go all out to consume as much alcohol as possible and clearly would have trouble getting into a taxi and then getting out at the other end.   Should the company be liable what happens to that employee once you have seen them off into the taxi?  Not really sure, I think not, but then I think we the employer/manager have provided that alcohol for that employee to be drunk, so maybe its a yes.
When will liability end?  Being naieve to the issue will only end up a costly mistake for the company and the employee.

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