Creating Space for Organizational Growth

Liz Wiseman – Author of Multipliers – How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter was the speaker at Wednesday morning’s ELN (Executive Leadership Network) Breakfast Meeting at THE CENTER FOR EXECUTIVE EDUCATION AT BELMONT UNIVERSITY!

I learned a lot and met some fascinating, smart, successful people (who all made me feel smarter) . . . and came away from the meeting energized.

Liz talked about Leaders who “Extract people’s full capability” . . . and how “Multiplier Leaders” are “genius makers and bring out the intelligence in others.”

I know some of these people. I think EVERYONE knows some of these leaders, and we are ALL attracted to these leaders because being with them makes us feel SMART.

I believe most large organizations with real staying power do so because there are “Multiplier Leaders” at the helm . . . and the REAL challenge for many is what happens as growth happens.

When the organizational culture focuses on “being the BEST” (a Multiplier mentality), growth is more organic as Multiplier Leaders attract employees and other leaders just like themselves.

BUT – What happens when the focus at the top shifts towards being the LARGEST? This shift often happens because of a change of leader at the helm or market conditions that provide sudden potential for hyper-growth.

My experience is that this shift has a very high potential for shifting focus towards a “Diminisher Leader” approach as the organization loses grip on the organic nature of the culture and becomes more structured and CONTROLLING.

We see the appearance of “Scripts and dialogues” at every level as the entire culture moves towards a mentality that if other people don’t see it their way, they can convert them.

The importance of individuality wanes . . . and the leaders stop asking questions (soliciting feedback and acting on it) and begin “Issuing Directives.”

Independent thought of employees is no longer an asset because it has potential to interfere with the momentum of the growth.

I’ve witnessed this happen . . . and as Liz Wiseman was speaking, I saw many Corporate Leaders in the room nodding their heads and grimacing and smiling nervously . . . The reactions were poignant.

I suspect; though, Liz was “Preaching to the choir” because most “Diminisher Leaders” think too much of themselves to take the time to attend such a meeting . . . They’re too busy controlling their operation.

Thank you for the perspective Liz.


Much of what Liz talked about aligns with the principles of Open Space Technology . . . Multiplier Leaders are natural space creators.

Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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