Force Multiplier: A Mindset for Success

At HicksPro, our core values dictate how we behave and provide a solid foundation to guide decision-making. The most critical core value — and the one I am asked to explain most often — is the concept of a Force Multiplier.

What is a Force Multiplier? The Wikipedia definition:
Force Multiplier, in military terms it refers to an attribute or a combination of attributes that dramatically increases (hence “multiplies”) the effectiveness of an item or group, giving a given number of troops (or other personnel) or weapons (or other hardware) the ability to accomplish greater things than without it.

In the SEAL Teams, we use this term to refer to the individual operator, not the hardware weapon system. In the Teams, the weapon system is the operator – the operator is the Force Multiplier. This is how we use it at HicksPro: our team members are the Force Multipliers. For us, the Force Multiplier is a mindset and that mindset dictates our actions. In this post I will do my best to explain the Force Multiplier mindset and why it is the most critical component of a successful team.

There is an over-abundance of team building information for business but most of it misses the mark. The focus is too often on “teamwork” and what people believe creates successful teams based on the attributes and characteristics of what a successful team looks like when operating at a high level. They focus on communication skills, knowing your teammates, respect, trust, diversity, critical listening, the list goes on…Though these can be important, they are the result of what happens — or in most cases what doesn’t happen — on a team depending on the foundation put in place. Focusing on these will do nothing to enhance a team if the individuals are not individually performing at their highest possible levels. The critical point of a successful team is that the individual performance of the combined team members dictate the success of a team…not the team itself.

I understand it is counter intuitive to focus on individual performance when trying to create a high performing team. But think of the team building exercises you have been through with your team. Did they have long lasting positive results? No ropes course, trust circle, sensitivity training or company Kool-Aid sessions will make a team stronger in the long run if your other team members are not performing their specific tasks at a high level.
A Force Multiplier mindset means that as individuals we show up every hour of every day with the belief and resolve that our individual performance is the defining factor in the success of a team. Being a so-called “weak link” is not an option. We believe the team is relying on our performance to succeed. We own our personal performance and focus our energy on performing our tasks at a high level. When we focus on this, the positive attributes of a successful team — trust, respect, clear communication, reward – come a heck of a lot easier. The team tends to just work. It also becomes very obvious who is not a Force Multiplier so they can be improved or removed. I argue a great team is really just a group of Force Multipliers individually performing their tasks well while trusting others to perform their tasks well. The team itself takes a back seat.

This Force Multiplier mindset is not easy to create. The responsibility falls on the leader of the team. First the leader must have a Force Multiplier mindset themselves. Then, leaders need to focus on people who value their individual performance above all else while knowing their high performance will help the team win and the team will help them win. Leaders need to look for Force Multipliers who genuinely want their team to rely on them for the great work they do, they don’t shy away from this responsibility. Business leaders need to find people who want to build trust on a team by proving through action that their place on the team is critical and avoid people who feel their place on the team must be valued just because they are part of a team (sound familiar?). In short, Force Multipliers earn their place on the team every single day.

For leaders, I sincerely believe that most people want to be Force Multipliers. As humans with a pack mentality, we want our work to add value to others, we want our teammates to see us perform, we want to see others perform well, we are communal people who inherently prefer to succeed together. It is the leader’s responsibility to recruit, train and manage people to the Force Multiplier mindset.

If you want to know more about how to find and build teams with Force Multipliers feel free to contact me.

There are one comment .

  • Dan Michie

    Excellent article with a fresh perspective on how teams excel. You can bet I will be sharing with my team.

    Thanks!

    Reply

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