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The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter – Liz Wiseman

What makes a successful leader?

Leaders are the backbone of organisations. They are the driving force in a business and many people aim to become a leader at some point in their career.
To be a successful leader, it is not as simple as getting the role – you must possess the correct traits in which to create the right balance for and with your team.
Psychology research has continuously backed up significant characteristics that successful leaders inhibit.
Here are some traits make a successful leader according to Raymond Cattell, 1954.

  • Emotional Stability
  • Dominance
  • Enthusiasm
  • Conscientiousness
  • Social Boldness
  • Tough-mindedness
  • Self-assurance
  • Compulsiveness

As well as these traits, successful leaders must show the ability to motivate and lead a team. This may come from the following tendencies:

  • High Energy
  • Intuitiveness
  • Maturity
  • Team Orientation
  • Empathy
  • Charisma

Leaders are rarely born that way, these characteristics need to be nurtured and procured with hard work and dedication.

The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

Liz Wiseman, author of ‘Multipliers, The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter’, suggests that there is more to this theory. Wiseman’s theory states that there are two types of leaders – Multipliers and Diminishers, where every leader falls somewhere between the two. It builds on Cattell’s secondary tendencies, stating that you can have strong personal traits but unless you can manage others in a certain way your team efficiency may be affected.
Here are the things you should keep in mind, according to Wiseman.

  1. Environment

Effective leaders should create an environment that allows employees to be flexible. Creating an open and adjustable environment in which the needs of each member of staff have the ability to stretch their creativity or specific traits, in doing so you open up people to their true intelligence capabilities. Leaders who do this are what Wiseman calls multipliers.
Leaders who have strict rules and create a highly controlled work environment are restricting the creativity and are therefore suppressing the intelligence of their team. If you believe that you are the driving force for success in the business, you are a diminisher. Diminishers believe that their efforts and their efforts only are what help the company succeed, when in actuality if they utilised the power of the whole team’s knowledge the business would go much further.

  1. Challenges

You should be challenging your team and pushing them to be doing their best. Multipliers would provide training opportunities as much as possible and focus on helping their staff improve and learn new skills. In the long run, challenging your team will make it a better one!

  1. Decision Making

According to Wiseman, letting your employees in on the decision and debate of decisions big and small will encourage intelligent input and improve the outcome of each decision.
Diminishers would make all decisions themselves and not trust the opinions of their staff.

So, what are you? Have you noticed some things that you need to improve on? We all have! Take a moment to assess where you may stand as a leader and encourage yourself to make some positive changes, you may notice great improvements in the way your team works and even in the success of your business.