Over the holidays I recorded a “mindset conversation” with bestselling author Liz Wiseman about why some leaders bring out the best in us, and why others cause us to hold back.
In her book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, she shares great insights into why some leaders are able to multiply the intelligence of their followers, while other leaders become unintentional "diminishers" who fail to fully spark the productive capacities of the people who work for them.
In our interview, Liz cited Tim Cook as an example of a multiplier leader. As she said: “He really is one of these leaders who brings out the best in people. Somehow people are at their very best around him. When you go into a meeting with him, you go prepared and you bring your best game with you.”
Personally I think of Bill McDermott as a classic multiplier. I’ve seen him interact with people in many settings. When anyone walks out of his office after a meeting, they say to themselves: “I can do this. I have hope. I can set the world on fire!”
The reason Liz started thinking about the capabilities of leaders was due to her time working at Oracle, where she was in charge of developing talent. Her hiring strategy was to hire for raw intelligence, niceness, and above-average achievement orientation. She explained that she noticed an interesting trend after awhile: “I looked at all these executives who were so brilliant but I started to notice that they didn’t all cause brilliance. Some of them were so enamored of their own ideas that they didn’t see all the intelligence around them.”
As Liz pointed out, people come to work desperately wanting to contribute and give 100 percent of what they’re capable of. This is just as true of your own salespeople and team members. The problem is, these people soon find out they have managers who aren’t interested in their contributions. The managers either don’t see their capabilities, need them, or want them.
This creates a toxicity in organizations. And it creates the very opposite of what sales managers want to achieve!
Sales managers cannot possibly create greatness without the ability to get everyone on the team to row in the same direction, with the same level of intensity. This requires a multiplier mindset, not a diminisher mindset.
For more insights, listen to my interview with Liz below. Thanks also to Mark Hunter for adding his valuable contributions to the discussion.
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