Multipliers: Leaders who unlock the talents of others
Author: Anton Gakhov

02.05.2024 12:57

360 views
Tecedu Innovations for Education 4.0 ShareShare
Tecedu Innovations for Education 4.0  ShareShare
I have been eager to write about a remarkable leadership approach that I first came across back in 2011 when I was living in Dubai. It was during this time that I had the incredible opportunity to meet Liz Wiseman, who kindly invited me to a presentation of her insightful book. At that moment, I was employed as a Learning and Development Manager at an oil and gas company, where we were in the process of creating a leadership development program.
Tecedu Innovations for Education 4.0  Multipliers: Leaders who unlock the talents of others

I have been eager to write about a remarkable leadership approach that I first came across back in 2011 when I was living in Dubai. It was during this time that I had the incredible opportunity to meet Liz Wiseman, who kindly invited me to a presentation of her insightful book. At that moment, I was employed as a Learning and Development Manager at an oil and gas company, where we were in the process of creating a leadership development program. My encounter with Liz and her thought-provoking concepts not only left a lasting impression on me but also significantly influenced the direction of our program and my own leadership journey.

In modern business, leaders face a multitude of challenges, but some possess special qualities that enable them to maximize the potential of their employees. Such leaders are called multipliers (managers with a multiplicative effect). In this article, we will explore the principles underlying the multiplier phenomenon and how they can be applied to increase the effectiveness of one's work.

Multipliers are leaders who look beyond their own genius and focus their energy on identifying and developing the talents of others. These leaders do not strive to be "pleasant" to those around them. They are tough and demanding managers who see many opportunities in others and want to use this potential to the fullest.

Where the concept came from

The concept of multipliers was first introduced in the book "Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter" by authors Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown. In this book, the authors explore two types of leaders: multipliers and diminishers (reducing). Multipliers are leaders who know how to use and develop the talents of their subordinates, while diminishers suppress and limit the possibilities of others.

Multiplication in Cybernetics

Cybernetics is a science that studies the principles of management and communication in machine and biological systems. In the context of cybernetics, multipliers can be seen as leaders who skillfully manage and coordinate the work of various systems and subsystems, using the maximum potential of each.

Applying the principles of multipliers in cybernetic systems can lead to the creation of more flexible, adaptive, and innovative systems capable of adapting to changing conditions and solving complex tasks. Such systems will have a high degree of self-organization, self-management, and collaboration between different subsystems.

Advantages of multipliers in organizations:

  • Increased work efficiency: Multipliers help unlock and develop the potential of their employees, leading to increased productivity and work efficiency at all levels of the organization.
  • Creation of innovations: Multipliers stimulate their subordinates to be creative and encourage their ideas, fostering innovation and organizational development.
  • Improved corporate culture: Multipliers establish a positive work environment where employees feel valued and recognized. This contributes to the formation of a corporate culture based on collaboration, trust, and respect.
  • Development of leaders: Multipliers are not only good leaders themselves but also promote the development of leadership qualities in their subordinates. This creates strong management capable of making the right decisions and managing the company effectively.
  • Long-term stability: Organizations where multipliers operate have a greater chance of long-term development and stability, as their employees are more motivated, trainable, and engaged in the work process.
  • Using the principles of multipliers in management and cybernetic systems can be the key to the successful development of organizations and solving complex global problems. The development and implementation of such systems based on the principles of multiplication can lead to the creation of new, more efficient, and sustainable systems capable of meeting the challenges of the future.

Multipliers and diminishers

To understand the principles of multipliers, it is essential first to understand their counterparts - diminishers. Diminishers are leaders who believe their genius is unique, and only they can create good ideas and successfully manage a business. This approach prevents them from allowing others to share ideas, think, or contribute to a project. As a result, they become micromanagers, constantly controlling all aspects of their subordinates' work.

In contrast, multipliers believe that those around them have significant potential and can offer innovative solutions. These leaders can see the strengths of their employees and apply them to tasks.

Five key characteristics of multipliers

In the book "The Multiplier Effect: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter," the authors identify five key characteristics that set multipliers apart from other leaders:

  • Attracting talent: Multipliers seek and attract the best talents, creating teams of experts capable of handling the most complex tasks. They can recognize the strengths of employees and appreciate their uniqueness.
  • Creating intellectual provocation: Multipliers ask challenging questions, stimulating the intellectual growth of their employees. They propose new ideas and challenge old perceptions to encourage their team's development.
  • Providing freedom and responsibility: Multipliers trust their employees and give them the freedom to act. They set clear expectations but also allow their subordinates to make decisions and take responsibility for the results.
  • Mentoring: Multipliers actively engage in the development of their employees, devoting time and attention to their professional growth. They find ways to share their knowledge and experience, helping those around them to improve their competence level.
  • Fostering a climate of collective genius: Multipliers create an environment where all team members feel engaged, motivated, and valued. They recognize and encourage collective mastery, understanding that the best results are achieved through the interaction of all participants in the process.

By applying these principles in practice, multipliers can significantly increase the efficiency of their teams and develop the genius of those around them. Implementing this approach to leadership can lead to the creation of stronger, smarter, and more successful organizations where each employee has the opportunity to showcase their potential and contribute to achieving common goals.

Personal qualities of multiplier leaders

Managers with a multiplier effect possess a range of features and characteristics that allow them to have a significant impact on their team and organization as a whole. Here are some key characteristics of their management style:

  • Emotional intelligence: Managers with a multiplier effect have a high level of emotional intelligence, which allows them to easily connect with colleagues, understand their feelings and motivations, and respond appropriately to various situations.
  • Strategic thinking: These managers can build long-term plans and strategies that enable the company to grow and develop. They are skilled at analyzing the market, identifying opportunities and threats, and making well-considered decisions.
  • Innovation: Managers with a multiplier effect are always looking for new ideas and solutions that can improve work efficiency and make the business more competitive. They are open to change and adapt to new conditions.
  • Communication and leadership: These managers are skilled at establishing effective communication within the team and with external partners. They motivate employees, help them develop, and enhance their professional qualifications.
  • Delegation of authority and responsibility: Managers with a multiplier effect know how to properly distribute responsibilities among team members, delegate authority, and trust employees. This allows them to focus on strategic tasks while not losing control over operational activities.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: These managers quickly respond to changes in the external environment and within the company, adapting their approaches and strategies to new conditions. They can manage change and support their team in the process of adapting to it.
  • Talent development: Managers with a multiplier effect actively engage in talent development within their team. They support employees, help them identify their strengths, and provide opportunities for professional growth.
  • Decisiveness and decision-making: These managers can make quick and well-considered decisions even in complex and uncertain situations. They analyze possible options, assess risks and consequences before making a final decision.
  • Collaboration: Managers with a multiplier effect actively collaborate with their colleagues, partners, and other company departments. They create an atmosphere of mutual cooperation and close teamwork, which promotes the exchange of knowledge, experience, and resources.
  • Result orientation: These managers always set clear goals and priorities for themselves and their team. They focus on achieving specific results and motivate their employees to work actively and strive for self-improvement.

In general, managers with a multiplier effect are leaders who can inspire their team, stimulate their creativity and development, and successfully solve the most complex tasks in the interests of the organization. Their management style is characterized by a high level of communication, leadership, adaptability, and strategic thinking.

Problems multiplier leaders face

Despite the many positive qualities of managers with a multiplier effect, they may also have negative aspects or problems they encounter in the process of managing a team and organization:

  • High tension and stress: Due to the responsibility for achieving results and managing complex projects, managers may experience high levels of stress and tension, which can affect their health and well-being.
  • Difficulty balancing work and personal life: Managers with a multiplier effect often face the problem of overwork and time management, which can lead to conflict between work and personal life.
  • Risk of isolation: Due to their status and authority, such managers may sometimes become isolated from the rest of the team, which can lead to a loss of connection with the real problems and needs of employees.
  • Delegation problems: Some managers with a multiplier effect may have difficulty delegating authority and control over processes, which can lead to overload and unproductivity.
  • Resistance to change: In some cases, managers with a multiplier effect may face resistance from the team or organization if they try to implement innovations or change established processes.
  • Rejection of criticism: Due to their confidence in their decisions and strategies, managers may be resistant to criticism or negative feedback from colleagues and employees.
  • Egocentrism: In rare cases, managers with a multiplier effect may exhibit egocentrism when they believe that only their opinion and strategy are correct, which can lead to opposition from the team.
  • Opposition from the team: In some cases, colleagues and employees may see a manager with a multiplier effect as a threat to their position or authority. This can lead to mistrust, resistance, and opposition, making it difficult to work and manage the team.
  • Difficulty maintaining motivation: Even the most successful managers may face problems in maintaining the motivation of their employees. If a manager does not find an approach to each team member, this can reduce the level of engagement and work efficiency.
  • Fear of failure: Managers with a multiplier effect may experience fear of failure, as they often bear responsibility for the successes and failures of their team. This can lead to a reluctance to take risks and make unconventional decisions.
  • Difficulty making decisions: Sometimes, managers with a multiplier effect may encounter analysis paralysis and difficulties in decision-making, especially in complex and uncertain situations. This can slow down the progress of the team and organization.

Despite the negative aspects and problems that managers with a multiplier effect may face, they are generally valuable and effective leaders. They can learn, adapt, and overcome shortcomings to achieve success and increase the productivity of their teams and organizations.

Pros and cons of working with a multiplier leader for members of their team

When working with a manager with a multiplier effect, employees may encounter various pros and cons. Some of them are listed below:

Pros:

  • Development and learning: Such managers often provide opportunities for professional growth and development for their employees, helping them become more skilled and successful in their careers.
  • Motivation: Managers with a multiplier effect know how to motivate their team, inspire them to achieve goals, and create a positive working atmosphere.
  • Support: These managers provide support and assistance in solving work tasks for their employees, and can also be good mentors and advisors.
  • Openness and communication: Managers with a multiplier effect are usually oriented towards open and honest communication, allowing employees to freely express their opinions and share ideas.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: Working with such a manager, employees can learn to quickly adapt to changes, which is beneficial in a rapidly changing business environment.

Cons:

  • High expectations: Managers with a multiplier effect may have high demands for their employees, which can lead to stress and overload.
  • Inconsistency in priorities: Sometimes, such managers may quickly change priorities, making it difficult to plan work and leading to a decrease in employee productivity.
  • Tendency to control: Some managers with a multiplier effect may have difficulties delegating authority, leading to excessive control over employees and their work.
  • Fear of mistakes: If a manager with a multiplier effect exhibits fear of mistakes and failures, it can be transferred to employees, creating an atmosphere of apprehension and suppression of initiative.
  • Lack of feedback: In some cases, such managers may be busy solving strategic tasks and not provide timely and useful feedback to employees, hindering their growth and development.
  • Resistance to criticism: If a manager with a multiplier effect is not open to criticism or negative feedback, it can create barriers to open communication and discussion within the team.
  • Conflicts and rivalry: Working with a manager with a multiplier effect can cause conflicts and rivalry among employees, especially if they see them as a threat to their authority or position in the organization.

Overall, working with a manager with a multiplier effect can be both a very positive and challenging experience for employees. However, most drawbacks can be overcome through open communication, mutual respect, and a desire for improvement. If the team and the manager collaborate and work together on their development, they can achieve success and improve productivity.

How often do managers with a multiplier effect occur?

There is no exact statistical data on how often multiplier managers are encountered, but they are considered rare and valuable leaders in business and organizations. Such leaders possess unique skills and approaches that allow them to maximize the potential of their teams and create high-performance workgroups.

One reason why multiplier managers are rare is that many organizations and educational institutions traditionally focus on developing individual leadership qualities rather than the qualities that enable leaders to identify and develop the talents of those around them.

However, with increasing recognition of the importance of effective leadership and the intensive search for ways to improve team productivity, more and more organizations and leaders are realizing the significance and potential of multipliers. Therefore, it can be expected that the number of multiplier managers will grow as more companies strive to develop this type of leadership among their employees.