Multipliers: Summary Review

This is a summary review of Multipliers containing key details about the book.

What is Multipliers About?

Multipliers is a book that explores the differences between two types of leaders: multipliers, who bring out the best in people and organizations, and diminishers, who drain intelligence and capability from the same, and provides practical advice for becoming a more effective multiplier.

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In the book, the authors look at various types of leaders and identify two different types of leaders, Diminishers and Multipliers. Multipliers are leaders who encourage growth and creativity from their workers, while Diminishers are those who hinder and otherwise keep their employees' productivity at a minimum. The authors give what they consider to be solutions and guidance to the issues they bring up in the book.

Summary Points & Takeaways from Multipliers

Some key summary points and takeaways from the book include:

* Multipliers are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of their teams, resulting in increased innovation and productivity.

* Diminishers, on the other hand, are leaders who use their power to decrease the intelligence and capabilities of their teams, resulting in decreased performance and morale.

* Multipliers have five leadership practices: Attract and Expect the Best from Talent, Release and Delegate Talent, Extend Challenges, Debate Decisions, and Invest in Talent Development.

* Diminishers, in contrast, have four leadership practices: Control the Talent, Waste Talent, Demean Talent, and Dictate Solutions.

* To become a multiplier, leaders should adopt the five practices and avoid the four practices of diminishers.

* Multipliers create a culture of genius and unleash the full potential of their teams, resulting in increased innovation and productivity.

Who is the author of Multipliers?

Liz Wiseman is a researcher and executive advisor who teaches leadership to executives around the world.

Greg McKeown is an author, public speaker, leadership and business strategist.

Multipliers Summary Notes

Understanding the Two Types of Leaders

There are two types of bosses: Multipliers and Diminishers. Multipliers are leaders who inspire and bring out the best in their employees, while Diminishers tend to stifle ideas and drain their team's intelligence and energy.

Diminishers may be intelligent and capable, but they focus more on their own intelligence and tend to shoot down any idea that isn't their own. This results in employees feeling unfulfilled and inferior, which ultimately has a diminishing effect on their productivity and capability. On the other hand, Multipliers increase the intelligence and achievements of their team by bringing out the best in them.

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An example of a Diminisher is a manager at Intel who would spend a third of every meeting talking about his plans while shooting down any other idea that wasn't his own. This made his employees feel like he didn't want them to think for themselves. When working under a Diminisher, employees tend to give less effort, generally between 20 and 50 percent.

A prototypical example of a Multiplier is basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who used his skills to help everyone on his team shine and be the best they could be. He had the ability to raise the game of each and every teammate.

Most leaders fall somewhere in between the two extremes. It's important to adopt key Multiplier qualities to become a better leader. Multipliers are supportive, challenging, and have high expectations. They also give ownership to their employees, bring out their unique talents, and create a safe environment for ideas to be shared. By adopting these qualities, leaders can bring out the best in their team and achieve greater success.

How Talent Magnets Bring Out the Best in Teams

Multipliers are leaders who help their team members reach their full potential, and Talent Magnets are a specific type of Multiplier who excel at recruiting and bringing together exceptional teams. The key to being a Talent Magnet is to look beyond traditional boundaries and hierarchies to find talent wherever it may be, and to identify people's instinctive skills and put them in roles where they can shine.

In addition, Talent Magnets remove obstacles that prevent their team from performing at their best. This may involve changing personnel if someone's ego or attitude is holding the team back, even if they are talented.

To become a Talent Magnet, start by identifying the specific strengths and skills of your teammates and letting them know that you recognize and appreciate them. Then, make sure to put them in positions where their talents can be utilized to the fullest. Finally, be willing to let people go if they have reached their limit in their current role and need to continue growing elsewhere.

By following these practices, you can become a Talent Magnet and help your team members reach their full potential. Like Ernest Shackleton, who recruited an exceptional team for his dangerous expedition to Antarctica, Talent Magnets bring together outstanding teams and create an environment where everyone can excel.

The Power of Leadership: From Tyrants to Liberators

The workplace can be a challenging environment, and it is often the leadership that makes all the difference in how an employee perceives their job. The Multiplier concept describes how great leaders bring out the best in their team, while Diminishers do the opposite. here, we explore the third key idea of Multipliers, which is the contrast between Tyrants and Liberators.

Tyrants are bosses who create tension in the workplace by pointing out everyone's mistakes and making their employees feel uneasy. In contrast, Liberators, like Steven Spielberg, create an intense but inspiring atmosphere that motivates people to do their best work. They achieve this by allowing their team to work independently, encouraging experimentation, and creating an environment where mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn.

Giving employees space to work is crucial, and it is essential to trust their expertise. It is vital to be aware of the balance between giving suggestions and providing orders, as well as acknowledging mistakes. Liberators encourage their team to aim for their best work without fearing failure, making sure they know that it is acceptable to make mistakes as long as they learn from them.

Creating a Liberating environment is not an easy task, but it can lead to innovation and success. By avoiding the habits of a Tyrant and embracing the principles of a Liberator, leaders can cultivate a workplace where their team can reach their full potential.

Becoming a Challenger Leader: Motivating Your Team to Reach New Heights

The Challenger leadership style is all about pushing your team to achieve their best without barking orders or micromanaging. Matt McCauley, the former CEO of Gymboree, is a prime example of a Challenger leader who set high goals for his team and inspired them to achieve great results.

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The three key practices of a Challenger leader are to avoid telling someone what to do, help your team define challenges, and inspire belief in the possibility of reaching the goals. Instead of giving orders, Challenger leaders ask questions and point their team in the right direction to come up with their own solutions. This approach fosters creativity and empowers team members to take ownership of their work.

Defining challenges is another crucial practice of a Challenger leader. Rather than setting goals for the team, they encourage team members to set their own goals and contribute their ideas to reach them. This approach builds a sense of ownership and accountability, leading to a greater commitment to achieving the goal.

Finally, Challenger leaders inspire belief in their team's ability to achieve the goals, even if they seem impossible. By fostering a can-do attitude and showing their team that the goal is within reach, they inspire enthusiasm and motivation.

Challenger leaders like McCauley help their team reach new heights by setting high goals, empowering their team to find their own solutions, and inspiring them to believe in their own ability to achieve success. By adopting these practices, you too can become a Challenger leader who motivates and inspires your team to achieve their best.

The Debate Maker leads through open and inclusive decision making.

The Debate Maker is a manager who values input from their team and encourages inclusive decision making. This stands in contrast to the Decision Maker, who is quick to make snap decisions without consulting others. The Debate Maker is exemplified by Dutch police chief Arjan Mengerink, who successfully reorganized his police force by following three key practices.

The first practice is to carefully prepare the issues to be debated, so that they can be presented clearly to the team. The second is to spark an engaging and thorough debate that welcomes a variety of voices and opinions. Finally, a strong decision must be made that is communicated to everyone in a clear and definitive way.

To become a Debate Maker, it is important to set up comprehensive debates that allow for open and inclusive decision making. The leader should ask questions, rather than giving answers, and every answer should be supported by evidence. Every participant must be given the opportunity to contribute.

By following these techniques, a Debate Maker can create a process that encourages input from the team and leads to better decisions. This not only leads to better outcomes, but also creates a sense of ownership and investment in the decision-making process among team members.

Empower Your Team with Ownership and Resources as an Investor, Not a Micromanager

Micromanagement can lead to decreased productivity and a lack of trust between team members and leadership. Instead of being a Diminisher who micromanages, you can become an Investor who empowers your team with ownership and resources. This involves three key practices: defining ownership stakes, ensuring team members have necessary resources, and holding people accountable. By clearly defining each team member's role and responsibility, and giving them a sense of ownership, you'll motivate them to take personal investment in their work. Providing necessary resources for success, such as support teams or learning opportunities, will further empower your team to succeed. Lastly, holding team members accountable for their responsibilities will ensure that they understand their role and have the necessary autonomy to make decisions.

Successful rugby coach Larry Gelwix provides a great example of how this approach works. Instead of micromanaging his team, he delegated responsibility to team captains to improve their fitness, provided them with necessary resources, and held them accountable for their responsibilities. This approach led to the team winning the national championship, ending an undefeated season. By following these three key practices, you can empower your team to take ownership and achieve success.

Becoming an Accidental Diminisher is Easy, Awareness is Key

In this Multipliers Key Idea, the author highlights the common problem of Accidental Diminishers, who often come from a place of good intentions. The story of Sally, a seasoned school principal, illustrates how a data-driven approach to leadership can become smothering, preventing team members from making progress. Another form of Accidental Diminisher is the Optimist, who unintentionally undermines the difficulty of a task, leading team members to feel unsupported.

The author stresses the importance of regular feedback from trusted sources to avoid becoming an Accidental Diminisher. Asking team members how they perceive your leadership style is an essential aspect of good leadership. The author encourages readers to engage in exercises like the one conducted in Abu Dhabi, where participants were asked to share ways in which they might be accidentally diminishing others.

The Multipliers serves as a reminder that even well-meaning bosses can unknowingly undermine their team's potential. Therefore, leaders must cultivate self-awareness to understand how their actions affect their team members. When leaders are aware of their tendencies, they can take steps to create an empowering and motivating environment, unlocking the full potential of their team.

Dealing with a Diminisher Boss: Defensive Practices to Adopt

Having a boss who is a Diminisher can be frustrating and demotivating. But instead of resorting to ineffective strategies such as confrontation, avoidance, quitting, lying low, or ignoring, there are some defensive practices that one can adopt.

One approach is to regroup and figure out the problem, then suggest a solution that could defuse the conflict. For instance, one executive at Apple was criticized by Steve Jobs, but instead of arguing, she took a step back and allowed Jobs to soften his position before approaching him with a new solution that combined their ideas.

Another approach is to be your own Multiplier and use the key practices on your boss. For example, you can take advantage of their skills and invite them to see your talent firsthand. One manager invited a senior boss who routinely interfered at meetings to one of her meetings and asked him to kick off the meeting before letting her take the lead. This helped him recognize her talent and she gained his enthusiasm for her work.

If your boss micromanages you, you can find a friendly way to remind them that you are qualified to work without constant oversight. One colleague of the author would defuse this scenario by making a joke about "loosening the choke chain." This made the message clear without challenging their authority.

Quick Practices to Transform into a Multiplier

One of the main themes of this book is about how anyone can become a Multiplier by recognizing the need to change and having the resolve to follow through. Bill Campbell's story highlights that even individuals with past experiences as a Diminisher can reset their role as a leader. The book offers fast-track practices to becoming a Multiplier, starting with focusing on one skill to maximize and one weakness to neutralize. For instance, if one is a Challenger but also a Tyrant, they could maximize their Challenger tendencies by setting ambitious goals and minimize their Tyrant tendencies by giving their team more space.

Book Details

  • Print length: 268 pages
  • Genre: Leadership, Business, Nonfiction

Multipliers Chapters

Chapter 1 :The multiplier effect
Chapter 2:The talent magnet
Chapter 3:The liberator
Chapter 4:The challenger
Chapter 5:The debate maker
Chapter 6:The investor
Chapter 7:Becoming a multiplier.

What is a good quote from Multipliers?

Top Quote: “When leaders teach, they invest in their people’s ability to solve and avoid problems in the future.” (Meaning) - Multipliers Quotes, Liz Wiseman

What do critics say?

Here's what one of the prominent reviewers had to say about the book: “This book will speak to every CEO and CFO. Multipliers get so much from their people that they effectively double their workforce for free." — John Doerr

* The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any published quotes, chapters, or takeaways. If you're interested in furthering your personal development, I invite you to check out my list of favorite personal development books page. On this page, you'll find a curated list of books that have personally impacted my life, each with a summary and key lessons.

Reading is Smart. Applying is Smarter:  Apply

Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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