Stretching the people in a team to achieve better performance and potentially greater intelligence is the ultimate goal for most leaders. This week I spent a few hours at a Liz Wiseman led Multipliers workshop.  Here is her approach to increasing team intelligence and performance..

The lads in the photo above are all of different heights.  Let’s pretend that their height is indicative of their capability.  Just like the people in my team and your team, everyone is at a different level. 

According to Wiseman, the best way to maximise the intelligence and get better performance from a team is to set a stretch goal for every individual person.  When they all hit their new goals, the collective team performance will be much greater. 

If all of the lads above are to be challenged to reach new heights, then their coach needs to understand exactly what will motivate each one of them to grow to the next skill level.  Understanding their current capability and then challenging them to hit the next goal is the key. 

Successful multipliers figure out the current and future skill levels for every team member very carefully.  They challenge them to hit their specific goal by asking for each person to ‘bring their best thinking’.  And then they leave them to it.

One of the key traits of successful multipliers is an expectation of success.  They set the challenge and than wait to let their teams figure it out on their own.  No micro-management, no daily work-in-progess meetings, just a tailored challenge that they trust can be completed if the team member gives their all.

Know your team, challenge them with specific tasks and leave them to it. That’s the Multiplier way.

PS - are you a natural multiplier or accidental diminsher? Take the test here