Through their style of management some leaders seem to drain intelligence and capability out of the people around them. They focus on their own intelligence and their resolve to be the smartest person in the room. This in turn has a diminishing effect on everyone else. Other leaders use their intelligence as a tool rather than a weapon. They apply their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capability of people around them.
The second group of leaders Wiseman calls Multipliers. Multipliers are genius makers. Multipliers invoke each person’s unique intelligence and create an atmosphere of genius—innovation, productive effort, and collective intelligence.
Wiseman uses Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc. as an example. When Cook was COO and opened a budget review in one sales division, he reminded the management team that the strategic imperative was revenue growth. Everyone expected this, but they were astounded when he asked for the growth without providing additional headcount. The Apple leaders entrenched in the logic of resource allocation and addition argued:
- Our people are overworked.
- Our best people are the most maxed out.
- Therefore, accomplishing a bigger task requires the addition of more resources: the Logic of Addition.
Cook, on the other hand, was speaking the logic of multiplication
- Most people in organizations are underutilized.
- All capability can be leveraged with the right kind of leadership.
- Therefore, intelligence and capability can be multiplied without requiring a bigger investment.
Multipliers apply the logic of multiplication.
Multipliers are hard edged.
Multipliers expect great things from their people and drive them to achieve extraordinary results. They are beyond results-driven; they are tough and exacting. Indeed, Multipliers make people feel smart and capable, but they don’t do it by being “feel-good” managers. They look into people and find capability, and they want to access all of it and utilize people to their fullest. They see a lot, so they expect a lot.