Have you read the book Multipliers: How The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman? If you’re a manager of people you should read it. One piece of advice Liz gives is to “make your mistakes known”. For many leaders this is a difficult thing to do. Many feel like they need to know all the answers and that their position does not allow them to make mistakes. This is simply not true. Everyone makes mistakes including you and your people know that better than anyone else, so just admit it.

Liz says: “Get personal. Let people know the mistakes you have made and what you have learned from them. Let them know how you have incorporated this learning into your decisions and current leadership practice.” Secondly, she says, “Go public. Instead of just talking about mistakes behind closed doors or just one-on-one, bring them out in the open where the person making a mistake can clear the air and where everyone can learn.” It is by doing this that a leader can “liberate intelligence” within their organization.

There are two take-aways from this for me as a consultant that works with managers:

  1. Its okay to make mistakes and when you do just admit it. In fact, more than admit it, discuss it with your team. There is freedom in that to become a lifelong learner and be okay with messing things up from time to time as long as we choose to apply the lessons learned in the future.
  2. Its okay for your people to make mistakes and as a leader you should encourage that kind of risk taking.

Both of these points allows me to be someone who never stops growing and encourages my people to do the same. It eliminates fear that can sometimes stop ingenuity and instead creates an environment of creativity. This, Liz says, is just one trait that a “Multiplier” possesses.

I want to be a Multiplier.

Do you?