TLAB14: Elise Foster, keynote

Elise has come over from the US to talk about her Multipliers theory. Genius or genius maker?

Sometimes leaders have the effect of dumbing people down, like they are unable to allow anyone else to be the cleverest person in the room. Multipliers give people the freedom to do their own thing, mobilising the intelligence and energy around them.

Utilisation. How deeply are leaders utilising the talent of others? Elise asks how many people have been in a job where they felt completely overworked whilst simultaneously under utilised. She shares a case study of a very enthusiastic woman who fell prey to a micro managing boss. This sort of micro managing stops people for thinking for themselves, whereas having a boss who has confidence in you can be exhausting, but exhilarating.

Access. Am I tapping into the greatest number of brains? How can I fuel growth with the resources I already have? Multiplier leaders get more from their workers just by asking for it.

Elise shares the results of the poll of people here on their leaders:


Then research on a bigger scale that suggests diminishers are only accessing 40% of people’s intelligence, whereas multipliers see intelligence as a muscle that needs to be stretched and worked and access 93% of what people have to offer.

Elise talks about accidental diminishers, and habits to avoid. Ideas-guy has 15 new ideas by lunchtime and people are confused, can’t keep up with the idea du jour. Always-on thinks his energy is contagious but people switch off. The rescuer hates to see people fail, so they wade in to help, which shuts down people’s independence and takes away important learning experiences. The pace-setter thinks everyone will follow their lead, but if they get too far ahead people give up trying to keep up. Rapid responders make decisions quickly but people need time to get used to things. The optimist has plenty of positives to say but that can be exhausting for everyone else.


How to avoid this?
Shift from answers to questions. The best leaders don’t have the right answers, but they have the right questions. Elise gives us some other tips for being better leaders in our classrooms and schools, a sort of homework for the week, to work on one diminisher habit this week. Be a genius maker!

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