There are two types of leaders, according to author and researcher Liz Wiseman. Some leaders encourage intelligence and creativity in their employees, creating other leaders, while others “shut down the smarts of others and waste talent and intellect”. Today you will looking at, are YOU a good leader or do you tend to operate in crisis management?
Are you a genius or a genius maker? We've all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders. The first type drain intelligence, energy, and capability from the ones around them and always need to be the smartest ones in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment. On the other side of the spectrum are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. When these leaders walk into a room, lightbulbs go off over people's heads, ideas flow, and problems get solved.
5 tips to can shift your behaviour to avoid being a “diminisher” and instead, get the best out of your workers!
1. Ask questions
Wiseman said many leaders are comfortable when they have all the answers.
“It’s very tempting to operate in the mode when we have the expertise and we’re the boss,” she said.
“But can we lead by asking? Could we lead by only asking?”
Wiseman says in her experience, when she has asked questions of her team, people naturally find the answers.
“The ownership naturally shifts,” she said.
2. Play fewer chips
Wiseman gave the example of an executive she was coaching who she handed five poker chips to on his way into a day-long strategy meeting. Each chip represented one contribution he was allowed to make to the meeting – either a comment, question or moving the discussion on to a different topic – and each had a time limit for how long he was allowed to speak for.
“I’m in no way suggesting you go small, but know when it’s time to go small and time to be big,” she said.
3. Challenge people
Wiseman says everyone works better when they are in “rookie mode”. They are new to a situation or environment and they need to ask questions and seek advice to come up with innovative solutions to problems.
“If you know the pattern and have seen an answer before, you assume, you stop thinking,” she said.
“The more you know the less likely you are to learn.”
She said workers are “hungry for a challenge” and inviting them to do hard things is a “fast, easy way to drive satisfaction in your company”.
“Instead of just giving people things to do or parts of the business to manager, think about what is the maximum stretch this person is ready for and will pull them out of their comfort zone,” she said.
4. Let someone else lead
Sometimes being a leader means giving that leadership role to someone else, Wiseman said.
5. It’s OK to help – but remember to give the pen back
“When your team is struggling, it may be irresponsible not to help,” Wiseman said.
“But remember to give the pen back. Don’t take over.”
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