Are You a Genius Maker or a Vampire?

Are you full of big ideas and grand visions? Do you believe it is strategic to focus your time only on people who report directly to you because they are the ones who can get things done? Do you deliberately create a little instability, believing people perform best when they are slightly on edge? Can others count on you to jump in to rescue them when it looks as if they might fail?

If you answered “yes” to those questions, you and your organization may be in trouble, according to Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown, the authors of Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.

Wiseman and McKeown differentiate between “multipliers,” who make people feel and behave brilliantly, and “diminishers,” who are basically workplace vampires that suck the life and vitality out of good people. Multipliers have high standards, expect people to succeed, and are continually rewarded with exceptional performance. Diminishers have equally high standards, expect to be disappointed, and always are. Multipliers create a culture of possibility that encourages innovation, while diminishers create a culture of fear that squashes any possibility of new thinking.

In which camp do you belong?

Are you excited about revealing others’ smarts, or obsessed with proving your own? Are you building people up, or focused on their flaws? Are you open to creating a shared vision, or intent on advancing your own agenda? Are you creating organizational energy, or are you sucking the lifeblood out of innocent people?

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