Multipliers Book Review

Here at Technology Multipliers, we’re always on the lookout for new ideas in leadership. We know the value of smart research, and how to utilize recent findings to help companies prosper. In order to share our knowledge, we’re blogging about strategies and ideas that echo our business philosophy.  Our team decided to begin by discussing Multipliers, a must-read for leaders and managers that we found to be consistent with our thoughts on leadership and teamwork.

When researchers Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown were interviewing employees and managers around the world, they came across a seemingly impossible fact: that certain leaders can access more than 100% of an employee’s intelligence and capabilities. When this impossibility began to resurface in succeeding interviews, Wiseman and McKeown realized they were onto something. The book that chronicles their research and findings, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, is an indispensable resource to any manager looking to unleash the power of his team.

The international search to determine how certain leaders extract more from their resources focused on companies that rely heavily on their intellectual assets. The two distinguished between Multipliers, those who multiply the capability of their existing resources, and Diminishers, leaders who always receive less than 100% of their team at any given time.

The teams interviewed were brimming with smart, capable staffers, and leaders (whether Multipliers or Diminishers) were often described as “geniuses.” The high quality of these organizations was an essential aspect of the research. No company was falling behind due to a lack of intelligence or dull employees. They all had the resources necessary to succeed, and succeed big – the difference was in whether or not the leaders knew how to access the full potential of their team.

Here’s a breakdown of a Multiplier’s key disciplines, as discussed by the authors:

  1. The Talent Magnet – attract and optimize talent
  2. The Liberator – require people’s best thinking
  3. The Challenger – extend challenges
  4. The Debate Maker – debate decisions
  5. The Investor – instill accountability

The number of inspiring and educational anecdotes in this book is astounding. Each situation depicts a unique aspect of leadership, and highlights the critical decision each leader makes in order to advance his team. Wiseman takes vague, broad qualities of leaders and breaks them down in an impeccably structured manner, using concise diction to thoroughly depict each important aspect of leadership.  This way, the book avoids being a loosely assembled collection of anecdotes and motivational buzzwords, and becomes instead an in-depth analysis of global leaders, the thinking behind their key decisions, and the precise reason behind their failures.

The importance of Multipliers rests solely on its applicability. Embarking on a writing project that is part manual, part inspiration, and part reflection, Wiseman makes sure that readability does not obstruct functionality. Each chapter ends in an overview of its important distinctions and lessons, providing easy reference for leaders looking to become Multipliers.

The impossibility that is this book’s raison d’être the truth that great leaders can access more than 100% of their team’s potential  – provides the most compelling reason for business managers to takes its advice. Wiseman stresses that possessing the leadership qualities of a Multiplier will allow one’s team members to stretch and further their intelligence, as well as vigorously undertake tasks that they are currently unqualified for but will rapidly grow into. Good leadership does not mean creating a cozy and easy atmosphere at work, corrects Wiseman. It means fueling your team with energy, leaving them “exhausted yet exhilarated.” Multipliers push people past their comfort zones, receiving twice as much from their resources as Diminishers. And this, as we find out, can be a billion dollar push.

At Technology Multipliers, we are interested in you and your successes. We will continue to blog about marketing and technology leadership, along with other topics related to our services.  Please join in with your thoughts as we continue the conversation on our core values and business philosophy.