Leap Year Lesson #322: Be a Talent Magnet, Not an Empire Builder

Posted: November 18, 2012 in Leadership
Tags: , , ,

One of the characteristics of a multiplying type of leader according to Liz Wiseman’s book Multipliers is that they are talent magnets who gain a reputation of being the best people to work for.  According to Wiseman, “People flock to work for them knowing they will be fully utilized and developed to be ready for the next stage” (p. 63).  This contrasts with diminishing leaders who, instead, focus on building empires.  Diminishers “bring in great talent, but they underutilize it because they hoard resources and use them only for their own gain” (p. 63).

I’ve worked for empire builders and I’ve worked for talent magnets.  I didn’t stay with empire builders for long.

For my current employer, I’ve had the great fortune of working in my present and most recent previous role for talent magnets.  In fact, I approached each of them with the idea of joining their team in some proposed capacity that was not at the time a part of their plans.  They were talent magnets for me as I worked to convince them of the needed role and that I was the person for it.  In each case, first in 2009 and again in 2011, after several months of discussion and planning, roles were created for me.

Both of these managers and the departments they lead (or led in the past) have no lack of people wanting to join their teams.  As for our current social media team, we know that when we have positions open we have the luxury of looking for and bringing on nothing but the best because of the competition that exists for the openings.  Adding two more people soon should be quite fun and exciting for us (assuming all goes as expected in gaining approval for the roles).

I’ve heard it said many times that people come to a position because of the job, but they leave because of management.  I believe that is frequently true.  I have left roles for that reason.  How much better is it to be working for a leader who is a talent magnet and to work among the great talent that magnet attracts?

Leap year lesson #322 is Be a talent magnet, not an empire builder.

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