Friday, September 28, 2012

Tapping Into Our Native Genius

What is your native genius?   This is the question that was posed by Liz Wiseman, author of the book Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, last week during a meeting with all LASD principals and instructional coaches.    A native genius, as defined by Liz,  is something that people do, not only exceptionally well, but absolutely naturally. They do it easily (without extra effort) and freely (without condition)…They get results that are head-and-shoulders above others but they do it without breaking a sweat.  Once the question was posed, the room became quiet and you could feel a little unease in the room. Why is it that we have such a hard time publicly sharing what we instinctively know we are good at?   This was only the beginning of a two and half hour session with Liz that really helped to push our thinking on how we individually utilize our own native genius to bring out the absolute best in those we work with and become a multiplier within our organization.  

A Multiplier can amplify the smarts and capabilities of those around them – they are as Wiseman and McKeown define them, 'genius makers'.    Research has shown that multipliers can actually double the intelligence you get from your workforce.  Tapping into an individual’s native genius is one aspect of becoming a multiplier, but there are five key behaviors that a Multiplier demonstrates:  (short multiplier video) 

  1. Attract and Optimize Talent – Multipliers lead people by operating as Talent Magnet which allows them to attract and deploy talent to its fullest potential
  2. Create Intensity That Requires the Best Thinking – Multipliers are Liberators, establishing a highly motivating work environment where everyone is free to think and expected to do their best work
  3. Extend Challenges – Multipliers operate as Challengers by seeding opportunities, laying down a challenge and generating a belief that it can be done
  4. Debate Decisions – Multipliers engage people in debating issues upfront, leading to decisions that people understand and can execute
  5. Instill Ownership and Accountability – Multipliers are Investors, establishing high expectations and hold themselves and others accountable to these standards

Having the opportunity to work with Liz and our leadership team is extremely exciting.  I hope that our entire team of leaders in LASD can truly operate as multipliers, but I can’t stop thinking about what might happen in our schools if every teacher aspired to be a multiplier.   What then becomes possible?  Are we tapping into the native genius of each child in our school system?  What does that even look like?  What if we were able to double the intelligence we get from our students?   I am passionate about investigating the answers to these questions and excited about the possibilities within our school district if we are successful.  

by Alyssa Gallagher, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations agallagher! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this exciting information.

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