Multipliers | Liz Wiseman

Summary of: Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter
By: Liz Wiseman


Imagine a world where leaders harness the full power of their teams, allowing everyone to reach their maximum potential. ‘Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter’ by Liz Wiseman introduces two types of leaders: Multipliers, who amplify the intelligence and accomplishments of their teams, and Diminishers, who drain their teams’ energy and ability. This book offers a road map for aspiring Multipliers, showcasing their key qualities and providing examples of successful Multipliers such as Magic Johnson. By understanding these core concepts, readers can become effective leaders, multiplying not only their teams’ capacity but also their own.

Multipliers and Diminishers

The book discusses two types of bosses: Multipliers and Diminishers. While Diminishers sap the intelligence and energy of their employees, Multipliers increase the achievements and productivity of their team. Diminishers tend to focus on their own intelligence and stifle ideas, while Multipliers use their skills to help everyone on their team shine and be the best they can be. Leaders can adopt key Multiplier qualities to become more effective.

Becoming a Talent Magnet

Ernest Shackleton, a British explorer in the early 20th century, is an example of a Talent Magnet, someone who can bring together a team of outstanding individuals. A Talent Magnet follows four practices: looking everywhere for talent regardless of traditional boundaries, understanding an individual’s instinctive skill, engaging that skill where it’s best suited, and removing obstacles that hinder team performance. A Talent Magnet identifies the specific way their teammates are smart, puts them in a position to shine, and lets them go when they hit their limit.

Embracing the Inner Liberator

The book discusses the two types of leaders – Tyrants and Liberators. A Tyrant, such as Timothy Wilson, is known for creating tension by criticizing relentlessly. On the other hand, Steven Spielberg is an example of a Liberator who creates a high-pressure atmosphere to encourage people to do their best work. To become a Liberator, three key practices need to be followed. First, offering fewer opinions and giving people room to work. Second, always asking for the best work without fearing failure. Finally, making sure that team members know that they can make mistakes and learn from them. By embracing the inner Liberator, individuals can create a healthy environment for innovation and growth.

The Challenger Leadership Approach

Matt McCauley, the former CEO of Gymboree, achieved a fivefold increase in the company’s share price by applying the Challenger Leadership approach, which consists of three practices. Firstly, he avoided telling his team what to do, but instead pointed them in a specific direction where they could develop their ideas. Secondly, he helped them define challenges by asking questions and setting appropriate goals. Finally, he inspired belief in the possibility of reaching goals, even if they seemed impossible. McCauley’s leadership style encouraged his team to achieve their goals by making them seem achievable.

Debate Maker

George W. Bush was a Decision Maker who failed at analytical thinking when making quick decisions without researching and weighing options. On the other hand, the Debate Maker model exemplified by Dutch police chief Arjan Mengerink is a successful way of reorganizing an organization. The three key debate maker practices include preparation of issues to be debated, an engaging and diverse discussion, and making a strong decision in the end. The process makes it clear to everyone how the outcome was reached, leading to a definitive conclusion and making everyone feel well represented. To become a Debate Maker, one needs to set up comprehensive debates and follow three main techniques: asking questions instead of giving answers, supporting every answer with evidence, and requiring every participant to give answers.

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