I have always been interested in how a leader creates a high growth business, either from the start or by taking an existing business or team to the next level.

We’ve all had experiences with two dramatically different types of leaders.

Some leaders manage to get the best out of people. In their presence, everyone seems to be more intelligent and capable. At meetings, ideas fly around the table and are vigorously debated. Severe problems get solved. People work hard and leave feeling exhausted and exhilarated. Attracting talent is to the company as easy as people flock to work with these leaders. These leaders are MULTIPLIERS.

There is another type of leader that seems to drain the energy, intelligence, and capability of the staff around them. They need to be the smartest person in the room.  They do all the talking and hear only one or two people at the end of a meeting because they think no one has anything valuable to contribute. They ask questions they already know the answer to as a means to flaunt their intelligence or to belittle an employee that does not know the answer. These leaders tend to bully and look for opportunities to catch people doing something wrong. These ineffective managers are DIMINISHERS.


If you can answer YES to the following seven questions, then you are:

  1. Have you asked three of your team members in the last month: “Do you see me as the kind of leader who is a multiplier or diminisher?”
  2. Have you in the previous quarter had a full day offsite planning session about the growth ambitions for your team or business?
  3. Have you in the last year, taken an entrepreneurial idea that had game-changing potential and proceeded with it like a multiplier on a crusade?
  4. Have you in the previous month invited an interesting “weird” outsider to sit in on an important meeting?
  5. Have you in the past month celebrated the achievement of a large or small milestone?
  6. Have you recently talked with a team member where you acknowledged their contribution and asked about a project’s next steps?
  7. Have you attracted new talented staff and used them at their highest point of contribution?

The manager who is a multiplier is a thoughtful but challenging leader who creates an environment with opportunities that causes people to stretch themselves.

They amplify the smarts and capabilities of all around them.

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” – John Maxwell