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Takeaways from the book Multipliers by Liz Wiseman

The book lays out the characteristics of two types of leaders - multipliers and diminishers. We all have both multiplier and diminisher tendencies within in. The book gives the thinking framework to weed out diminishing characteristics and amplify multiplier characteristics.

Diminishers: Sometimes leaders don't see beyond their own capabality and miss out on the genius of the people in their team. They instead drain intelligence and capability of people around them and become diminishers.

Multipliers: There are leaders who use their smarts and intelligence to amplify the intelligence and capability of the people around them. They are multipliers.

Multiplier characteristics

They multiply the skills of the people in their team. They thrive in challenging and constantly changing environments.

  • Usually a talent magnet
  • Trust - they trust the people they work with
  • Liberator - create the space for people to do their best work
  • Challenger - create a safe challenging space for people to solve their own problems and create opportunities for the future
  • Debate maker - create a safe thinking space and have regular debates on problems and solutioning
  • Investor - invest in the future and growth of their team instead of micro-managing the outcome
  • Soft opinions - they send their opinions as signals to others and not a solution
  • They empower people to own the outcome and give credit where it's due
  • Be open about mistakes and learning

Diminisher characteristics

Most diminishers are not intentional diminishers but instead accidental diminishers - people with the best intentions but using wrong approaches to tackle problems.

  • Idea fountain - a smart know-it-all who keeps tossing ideas which kills the creativity in the team
  • Always on - They take up all the ownership and under utilise talent in the team
  • Rapid responder - Jumps quickly with unsolicited solutions and help at the slightest distress instead of letting people learn on their own
  • Eternal optimist - Can do attitude and takes up all the proplems ahead without consulting the team which eventually creates a stressful environment for the team
  • Perfectionist - Expects everyone to operate very similar to how they operate
  • Hard opinions - they advocate and sell their decisions to others instead of empowering people to make decisions on their own. They do not trust others enough.
  • They own the outcome with a tight grip

Dealing with diminishers

  • Drown the noise - ignore diminishing behaviour of the leader
  • Confront them with honesty

Takeaway for leaders

Leaders can't be put into an absolute box as a diminisher or multiplier. They can and should identify the diminishing (or accidentally diminishing) characteristics and consciously work towards weeding them out and amplify multiplying characteristics.

Takeaway for growers

You can multiply up. The multiplying charactestics in the book are not specific to leadership. They apply to most of everyday activities at work.

Keep growing and shoot for the stars.