I've been devouring Multipliers, a book by Liz Wiseman that resonates with my leadership philosophy perhaps more than anything I've ever read before. I'm less than 100 pages in, but must share this portion that clearly differentiates two leadership styles.
Diminishers: "Some leaders seemed to drain intelligence and capability out of the people around them. Their focus on their own intelligence and their resolve to be the smartest person in the room had a diminishing effect on everyone else. We've all worked with these black holes. They create a vortex that sucks energy out of everyone and everything around them. When they walk into a room, the shared IQ drops and the length of the meeting doubles. In countless settings these leaders were idea killers and energy destroyers. Other people's ideas suffocated and died in their presence and the flow of intelligence came to an abrupt halt around them. Around these leaders, intelligence flowed only one way: from them to others."
Multipliers: "Other leaders used their intelligence in a fundamentally different way. They applied their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capability of people around them. People got smarter and better in their presence. Ideas grew; challenges were surmounted; hard problems were solved. When these leaders walked into a room, light bulbs started going off over people's heads. Ideas flew so fast that you had to replay the meeting in slow motion just to see what was going on. Meetings with them were idea mash-up sessions. These leaders seemed to make everyone around them better and more capable. These leaders weren't just intelligent themselves--they were intelligence Multipliers.
"Perhaps these leaders understood that the person sitting at the apex of the intelligence hierarchy is the genius maker, not the genius."
From Multipliers (pg 5), by Liz Wiseman
My prayer is that I will be a multiplying leader, forever tapping the genius of the people around me.
P.S. You should buy this book. Now. It's that good.