Smart managers and their root belief systems

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I haven’t read Multipliers yet, but I’ve listened to a couple podcast interviews with the author and read a couple articles on it. If you haven’t heard of it, the premise is that there are two kinds of managers: Multipliers, who amplify the smarts and capabilities of those around them, and Diminishers, who kill ideas and sap energy. And, of course, you or your people can learn to be Multipliers.

At first blush, it sounded very much like First Break All the Rules and Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham, which focus on helping team members be their best by improving their strengths rather than trying to fix their development areas. And the book does seem to share some common themes. But at least one of the topics Liz Wiseman talked about in her NPR interview was interesting and new: the difference in root belief systems of Multipliers and Diminishers. If they are really honest with themselves, Diminishers believe there are only a few smart people out there and so people need to be dependent on them; Multipliers see all types of intelligence and believe people are generally smart and will be able to figure out what to do. I can absolutely see that, but I question how people who at their root believe intelligence is scarce will be able to change their belief system and therefore their actions that those beliefs drive. I’ll update if/when I read the book – if anyone has any insight meanwhile, let me know!

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