Multipliers How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

There are two types of leaders: people who find, develop and grow talents. Lis Wiseman calls them Multipliers. The other type of people is called diminishers. They exploit, drain and diminish talents of others using their authority and position. The book “Multipliers” describes both types. It’s full of concrete examples, exercises and practical knowledge.

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Here are some of my favourite quotes.

Who Multipliers are?

Multipliers invoke each person’s unique intelligence and create an atmosphere of genius—innovation, productive effort, and collective intelligence.

Liz Wiseman, Multipliers

Calmness is not synonymous with softness. The difference is where the focus lies. The heart of the issue but is it on people. Tyrants create a tense environment that is full of stress and anxiety. Liberators create an intense environment that requires concentration diligence and energy.

Liz Wiseman, Multipliers

Soft opinions signal to the team: here are some ideas for you to consider in your own thinking.
Hard opinions are reserved for times when you hold a very strong opinion and views.

Liz Wiseman, Multipliers

Permission to speak freely sir?
Multipliers, by contrast, liberate people from the oppressive forces within the corporate hierarchy.

Liz Wiseman, Multipliers

Liberators create both comfort and pressure in the environment.
In the eyes of liberator, it is just exchange; I give you space you give me back your best work.
I give you permission to make mistakes, you have an obligation to learn from the mistakes and not repeat them.

Liz Wiseman, Multipliers

How Multipliers find a talent

It isn’t how much you know that matters. What matters is how much access you have to what other people know. It isn’t just how intelligent your team members are, it is how much of that intelligence you can draw out and put to use.

 Liz Wiseman, Multipliers

Multipliers questions to ask when you spot a talent:

  • What do they do better than anything else they do?
  • What do they do better than the people around them?
  • What do they do without effort?
  • What do they do without being asked?
  • What do they do readily without being paid?

You know you’ve hit a genius nerve when they say:

  • Really?
  • Can’t everyone do this?
  • But this is no big deal!

Ignore me as needed to get your job done.

Liz Wiseman, Multipliers

How Multipliers think

Leaders rooted in the logic of multiplication believe:
1. Most people in organizations are underutilized.
2. All capability can be leveraged with the right kind of leadership.
3. Therefore, intelligence and capability can be multiplied without requiring a bigger investment.

Liz Wiseman, Multipliers

Multipliers aren’t “feel-good” managers. They look into people and find capability, and they want to access all of it. They utilize people to their fullest. They see a lot, so they expect a lot.” 

Liz Wiseman, Multipliers

Other people’s quotes in that book

Bad ideas are okay starting points.
All good ideas start as bad ideas. That’s why it takes so long.

Steven Spielberg

How smart you are is defined by how clearly you can see the intellect of others.

C. K. Prahalad

To me it’s not about failing, it’s about prototyping. If someone on my team has an idea they want to pursue, I tell them to go for it and I’ll provide support if they need it. If it doesn’t work we can still learn and evolve from it.

Casey Lehner Director of global design operations in Nike

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

Antoine de St.Exupery

More books and reviews here.
The blog posts where I write about the principles covered in the book.


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