MULTIPLIER: These leaders are genius makers and bring out the intelligence in others. They build collective, viral intelligence in organizations.
DIMINISHERS: These leaders are absorbed in their own intelligence, stifle others, and deplete the organization of crucial intelligence and capability
So which one are you?
I thought I was born a multiplier. Everyone loves to work with me! People love my ideas and my encouragement! I’m an all around nice guy but still get things done under pressure! So…of course I am a multiplier, right?
That is what I thought — until I came across a book called Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. Finally a book that would tell me I am doing everything perfectly as a leader. This prideful, conceited thought came crashing down when I took the “are you an accidental diminisher” assessment. I’m too embarrassed to share my results here. I was grateful I took the assessment before I started the book because then I realized I had much to learn.
The author of this book is remarkable. I was most impressed by Liz Wiseman because she didn’t feel it was a waste of her time to talk to a guy that runs a silly site like Leading Saints. I had the opportunity talking with her over the phone about her book. She understands the LDS world and especially the LDS leadership world. Not until I completed her book did I fully realize how applicable Multipliers is to leading the LDS. An LDS leader wrote the foreword (Stephen Covey) and many other LDS leaders are referenced in the book.
I’ll be writing more about this book (and if we are lucky enough, Liz just might write a guest post for Leading Saints…keep your fingers crossed) but I wanted to give you a glimpse about what I learned and how I applied it to my leadership skills.
1. ATTENTION LEADERS….GET….OUT…..OF….THE….WAY!!!
This was the overall principles that kept slapping me in the face. I consider myself the type of leader that allows people to be autonomous. I thought I was turning control over to each auxiliary leader. Until they had a bad idea — then I was telling them to try something different. The reality of my situation came when one of my counselors asked me why he was conducting meetings such as ward council when he keeps turning the time over to me so that I can explain what really should happen. I never sat back and let the group debate the issue until they discovered their own solution that they all believed in.
2. Give them 51% of the vote.
The Sunday School President seemed to always ask the bishopric to call a new gospel doctrine teacher. This changed after reading Multipliers. I now remind him he has 51% of the vote when it comes to Sunday school business. I ask him to consider some names with their presidency and come up with one name and then present it to the bishopric. At that point we will let him know if there is a conflict or other reason they cannot serve. However, that reason can’t be “I just don’t think they would be a good teacher.” If they want the person then I give them the person and allow them to mold and train the person they picked rather than putting up with the person the bishopric picked. Giving them more control over their auxiliary makes them more accountable and more effective.
Contentious debate in meetings is a good thing.
Force the debate. Most people assume it isn’t appropriate to disagree with someone in a meeting. Not only should it be appropriate it should be what you are trying to create. The church is full of meetings so let’s not waste any more time agreeing with each other. The more debate the more effective the solutions.
Those are just a few of the many things I learned from this book.
…more to come.
In the meantime…watch the trailer.