Throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to learn at the hands of mentors who have imparted invaluable wisdom to me and helped me grow both professionally and personally. As a result, a professional goal of mine has always been to support my colleagues and employees to realize their goals by recognizing their untapped potential. I’ve read extensively about how to become the kind of mentor and manager that makes a genuine difference – which is why I was so happy to be introduced to the wisdom of an entrepreneur named Liz Wiseman, who is the President of The Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm out of Silicon Valley, and a thought-leader in the field of evolving management.
Wiseman’s theory about best management practices is predicated on the concept that in the world of management, people fall into three categories: Multipliers, Diminishers and Accidental Diminishers. Diminishers, accidental or otherwise, are managers who stifle the growth of their businesses and employees by not recognizing their subordinates’ potential outside of their professional pigeonholes. Multipliers, on the other hand, foster exponential personal and professional growth in others by encouraging their employees to use the full scope of their intelligence and capabilities by quite simply asking them to do more.
Of course, the question is: what exactly does Wiseman mean by doing more? I’m sure that many of you are reading this and thinking of how much you already have on your plate and are being asked to do – but to Wiseman, that just means that you are likely being over-worked and under-utilized. Fundamentally, the difference between a manager who is a Multiplier and one who is a Diminisher is that the Multiplier looks at her employees as capable, smart, innovative people who possess skills and knowledge outside of their professional titles and roles. Once a manager shifts her mindset to that of a Multiplier, she opens her employees up to the possibility of greatness by allowing them to discover and use skills they never realized they had, and as a result, everyone benefits.
If you’re interested in maximizing not only your own professional potential, but that of everyone around you, I encourage you to watch Wiseman’s TED Talk about how to become a Multiplier and purchase her book on Amazon – hopefully, you will find it as enlightening as I did!