What type of accidental diminisher are you?

The book Multipliers is all about how lots of well-meaning leaders are diminishing their people instead of multiplying them. Usually that means the leaders are doing too much.

It has this list of profiles for these accidental diminishers:

– Idea Guy: Creative, innovative thinkers who think they are stimulating ideas in others
– Always On: Dynamic, charismatic leaders who think their energy is infectious
– Rescuer: Empathetic leaders who are quick to help when they see people struggling
– Pacesetter: Achievement-oriented leaders who lead by example and expect others to notice and follow
– Rapid Responder: Leaders who are quick to take action believing that they are building an agile, action-oriented team
– Optimist: Positive, can-do leaders who think their belief in people will inspire them to new heights
– Protector: Vigilant leaders who shield people from problems to keep them safe
– Strategist: Big thinkers who cast a compelling vision thinking they are showing people a better place and providing the big picture
– Perfectionist: Leaders who strive for excellence and manage the fine details to help others produce superior work

Liz Wiseman, Multipliers

The tricky bit is that most of those seem like positive traits. Of course you’d want a leader to jump in when someone is struggling, right?! Why wouldn’t you want a leader to cast a compelling vision?!

But the most precious resource is agency. The rescuer robs people of the experience of working through their own problems. The strategist robs people of their own visions. The optimist robs people of the recognition that this crap is hard and that some failure is necessary.

A multiplier sits back and does less. A multiplier creates agency.

That begs the question: what’s the difference between being a multiplier and just not doing much work at all? But that’s a topic for another post.

In the meantime, there’s a quiz you can take to find out if you’re an accidental diminisher.

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