Are You a Multiplier?

Whether you’re leading a big company, a small team, or a group of tiny persons under the same roof, leadership is a crucial skill to develop. The challenge is, we don’t always automatically know what we should do, and sometimes, we may end up hurting the people we lead in the process.

When someone recommended me to read the book Multipliers by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown, I was intrigued by the subtitle: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. I wanted that. Priding myself for always finding beauty in everything—be it wildflowers, old books, and even the average underdog—I wanted to be someone who called out the best in other people.

And, I’m happy to say that the book delivers well on its promise!

The best leaders are those who know how to attract talent and release that into its full potential. They’re not affected by who has the particular skill or gift, and are quick to find ways to get those out into expression.
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5 Key Learnings from Multipliers:

In this post, I hope to share some of the key points gleaned from this gem of a read:

1. A multiplier encourages others’ intelligence; a diminisher quenches it.

One of the authors’ main premises is that intelligence is not a static thing: the way we treat one another can have a great impact as to whether people feel smart or dumb in our presence. Through the stories they share, we see real life examples of managers who are able to push their team to their full potential, and those who just squelch all the life out of them.

Take a look at this description of an example of a leader who killed creativity in his people: “He was very, very smart. But people had a way of shutting down around him. He just killed our ideas. In a typical team meeting, he did about 30 percent of the talking and left little space for others. He gave a lot of feedback—most of it was about how bad our ideas were.”

2. Multipliers attract and maximise talent.

The best leaders are those who know how to attract talent and release that into its full potential. They’re not affected by who has the particular skill or gift, and are quick to find ways to get those out into expression. That’s why we can call these Multipliers as Talent Magnets. This is in sharp contrast to Diminishers, who can be seen as Empire Builders that insist on having all control over human resource.

3. Multipliers challenge the best thinking.

One key element of being a Multiplier is getting the people around you thinking—and thinking creatively, too. In this way, Multipliers are Liberators, pushing people to do their best effort at finding solutions to problems. In contrast, Diminishers act more as Tyrants who demand people to think, but whose constant criticism or correction leads to a fear of judgment that freezes people’s creative thinking.

4. Multipliers create opportunity to stretch people.

A good leader knows how to seed opportunities and lay down challenges to stretch people out of their comfort zone. Sometimes, people are limited by what they believe they can do, but a Multiplier will call them out into possibilities they never thought of before.

5. Multipliers instill accountability and ownership.

Another important way that Multipliers treat other people is that they are ready to share responsibility by giving them a sense of ownership and accountability. They have high expectations for their people, while giving them all that they need to grow and succeed.

Choose to be a Multiplier

With these little snippets, I hope I’ve whet your appetite to choose to be a Multiplier and not a Diminisher. You will likely understand these terms in a much deeper way when you read the different stories and examples in the book, which we highly encourage you to buy through this Amazon link.

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