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Smart Leaders Get More Out of the Employees They Have

| September 25, 2012

by Jim Bruce

Today’s reading, “Smart Leaders Get More Out of the Employees They Have, is by Liz Wiseman, president of The Wiseman Group, a management research and development center in Silicon Valley and author of Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, and comes from the HBR Blog Network.

Wiseman’s point in her article is simple:  Research shows that organizations on the average don’t use all the intelligence and capability of the staff they have.

As an example, the author notes that’s COO began measuring how deeply managers were tapping into the intelligence and capability of their teams.  Once there was some data over time, the managers were challenged to rise the metric by 10%.  In one year they raised the metric from 70% to 78%.  This represents the equivalent of a significant increase in staff, certainly a larger staff increase than one could successfully argue for.

Wiseman’s research went further and looked at the managers.  In a study of 150 leaders across four continents,they separated these individuals into two groups:  “diminishers” who so focused on their own ideas and capabilities that they shut down intelligence around them, and “multipliers” who act to amplify the intelligence around them.  The study found that on the average, “dimishers” used only 48% of their staff’s intellectual capability while “multipliers” use 95%, or about twice as much.

So, this brings us to several questions:

1.  Am I a dimisher or a multipliers?  Am I open to other’s ideas?  Do I micromanage?  Do I delegate?

2.  How much of my staff’s capabilities do I use?  How do I know?  Perhaps , as a topic in a one-on-one coaching conversation?

3.  What can I do to increase the utilization of my staff?

Perhaps you should give this some thought this week and then develop some action plans.  .  .  .    jim