Creating Debate to Improve Decision Making

By Liz Wiseman
Originally Posted on
February 14th, 2017

There is a growing belief that good leaders are made, not born. We now know that leadership skills can be taught – that management practices can and should be refined and improved upon as leadership styles and behaviors evolve.

We are all too familiar with the leader who drains intelligence and capability out of their teams. Who, because of their need to be the smartest, most capable person in the room, often shut down the smarts of others, ultimately stifling the flow of ideas. These leaders—who we call “Diminishers”—underutilize people and leave creativity and talent on the table.

Thankfully, we also know leaders who, as capable as they are, care less about flaunting their own IQs and more about fostering a culture of intelligence in their organizations. Under the leadership of these “Multipliers,” employees don’t just feel smarter, they become smarter.

The question to then ask is: when it comes to decision-making in your organization, are you a Multiplier or a Diminisher?

And why is this important?

How decisions are made can greatly impact an organization – either creating higher levels of engagement and execution or disengagement and dissatisfaction.

Think of some important organizational decisions made recently within your company. Were there any problems that came up after the fact – in whispered conversations in hallways and cubicles – as baffled teams tried to make sense of decisions that seemed abrupt and random? Diminishers create this unproductive dynamic because they tend to make decisions alone or with input from just a small inner circle of advisers. The result is an organization left reeling, instead of executing.

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