Business leaders multiply your brain power to get a smarter business


We have heard the term ‘natural born leader’ many times but just how effective are these leaders and how are they making the most of their resources to benefit their company?

By resources I mean the people within the organisation. People are a company’s biggest resource as their capabilities, knowledge and talent can be transferred into improving the productivity of the company.  After all, two brains are better than one.

So why is it that some leaders suppress this resource and make all decisions themselves? In bestselling book, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter , Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown identify this type of leader as the ‘Diminisher’.multipliers book

As you can imagine this type of leader does exactly what its name says on the tin. Diminishers completely shut down the intelligence around them and waste the talent and intellect of the people in the company. According to Wiseman and McKeown this is due to their assumption that they are part of the ‘smart elite’. They literally believe that people cannot make decisions without them and this ultimately leads to smart people questioning their own intelligence. If people start to think that they are stupid then they’re not going to take risks or voice an innovative idea. What better way to squash the growth of a company than stamp all over its core assets?

Thankfully there is another type of leader appropriately named the ‘Multiplier’. Unlike the diminisher they use their intelligence and genius to extract the intelligence and genius from the people around them.  In other words they multiply the brain power within the organisation. Wiseman and McKeown have identified 5 things that Multipliers do differently to Diminishers which enables them to amplify brain power rather than diminish it. Multipliers are:

  • Talent Magnets
  • Liberators
  • Challengers
  • Debate Makers
  • Investors

Multipliers are ‘hungry to access smart people’s intelligence’, but people are even hungrier to grow and feel useful within an organisation and therefore Multipliers act as talent magnets. If I had the choice between a Multiplier or a Diminisher I know which one I would choose. It’s a no brainer really.

However, it’s not an easy ride with a Multiplier as they may create a liberated environment but in exchange they want the very best work from you. They will constantly throw a new challenge your way as the way they see it is ‘people are smart, they will figure it out’. And we usually do. We are not made to feel stupid and therefore we don’t act stupid. More responsibility and decision making means motivation levels will increase.

So how does this leadership method make business easier? Well luckily for us this method can be learned and developed. Wiseman and McKeown explain how this method is particularly relevant during the current economic climate. In order to grow top line revenue an organisation needs to find a deep leverage from within. So why recruit new talent and spend more money when you can utilise the talent you have right in front of you? Observations have also shown that organisations that can access the most brains will win in the market. Undoubtedly this is due to increased innovation, motivation and responsibility in the work place.

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter is an eye opening read as it can make you question your own leadership methods past and present. It might be a difficult realisation of your not so efficient leadership but with the changes suggested you too can double your workforce for free by amplifying brain power, and we all love a freebie!

About the author 

Pete Baikins

Pete Baikins is an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd he mentors and trains companies world-wide on the use of gamification to solve business challenges. Gamification+ won the Board of Trade Award from the UK's Department of International Trade in January 2019.

Pete is co-host of the health gamification podcast Health Points and is also Chair of Gamification Europe, the annual conference for Gamification practitioners.

Pete is an Honorary Ambassador for GamFed (International Gamification Confederation), having previously been the Chair from 2014 to February 2019, whose aim is to spread best practices within and support the gamification industry.

After 15 years as a Lecturer on gamification and entrepreneurship at the University of Brighton he now guest lectures on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe at post-graduate and under-graduate levels.

Over the past 20 years Pete has built and sold two businesses. One was in security software and the more recent one was a telecoms and internet connectivity business. He is also an Ambassador for Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

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