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Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter
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Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  8,701 ratings  ·  746 reviews

Are you a genius or a genius maker?

We've all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders. The first type drain intelligence, energy, and capability from the ones around them and always need to be the smartest ones in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment. On the other side of the spectrum

Hardcover, 268 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by HarperBusiness (first published June 1st 2010)
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 ·  8,701 ratings  ·  746 reviews

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Chad Warner
Oct 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Chad by: Mark de Roo
Shelves: non-fiction, business
This leadership book explores how to bring out the best work in others. There are a few good points, but overall I found it severely dull. It’s much longer than it needs to be, being filled with examples ad nauseam. There are many better leadership books.

My favorite point was that people’s best thinking must be given, not taken. Much of the book is about creating an environment in which people willingly give their best thinking.

I liked the distinction made between stress and pressure in Chapter
Jonathan Lee
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Good grief. This should have been a ten page (at best) pamphlet or research paper. Instead, it was turned into over 200 pages of making the same point ad nauseam. In addition, the personal stories were the most interesting part of the book, but even they got extremely repetitive. After the first five or so stories that illustrated the exact same points, they all tended to blur together. Just read the first and last chapters and save yourself some time.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think this is a book with a lot of descriptive power... I'm not sure there's a ton of huge revelations, but I really appreciated how this gave me language to talk about the kind of people I like to work for and what it feels like to work for someone who empowers you & helps you progress in your personal & professional development. Well worth a read IMO ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Got 40% through this book and read the appendixes. What a complete horror show.

It consists of hundreds of pages of anecdotal evidence presented as fact. The book boiled down to what sounded like someone has this great thesis and just wrote a book to support the thesis without any sound scientific research.

It suffers from survivorship bias and massive confirmation bias. It also makes massively unfounded deductive leaps. In fact the entire book is unpinned by a flawed deductive leap.

Ask 2 subjecti
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and I think that there is a lot to learn from it. The idea is that the best leaders aren’t the smartest people in the room, but strive to make their teams smarter. They do this by asking a lot of questions, owning and talking about their mistakes, trusting that their team members want to do a great job, and requiring the best work possible. The book also talks about different steps to take to work on your multiplying effect.
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much from Multipliers. This book demands introspection which was painful at times but well worth it. I would consider this book foundational and a companion book for Good to Great and Mindset.
Nimmy Mathew (Kurian)
Lots of good data and tips to become a Multiplier! Note to self to re-read this book periodically
Apr 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction

This book kept repeting the same ideas over and over just slightly differently. The vast majority of that book was that repetition, still defining the terms multiplier/liberator and dimminisher/tyrant - not how to /be/ a multiplier and not a dimminisher but defining the two by example, breaking it down, and repeating. Even a those cycles progressed ever so slightly one could only infer at how to deal with dimminisher boss by guessing from the examples. "This is what multipliers do", n
Brian Yahn
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
The premise of this book is pretty simple: Most leaders have good intentions, but some traits we think of as "good" aren't so great for a leader.

For example, if you try to protect your team from failure, you take out the critical learning feedback-loop that comes from failure.

Conversely, other traits that maybe don't seem so great in a friend -- like being challenged / stretched beyond your limit -- are good to have in your leaders. These types of traits not only allow others to grow / multiply,
Jan 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
GOD save the Queen!!!!! As a CEO of a non profit, I turn to books like this for a good reminder and sound advice. This book did neither!!! The concept of the book was good, but good lord, you can only polish a terd so many times before you realize it is just a terd! In this book the author takes a great idea and polishes it 340 pages worth, and when you finish the book you realize wow she could have summed that all up in 50 pages and I would be writing a different review right now. You may ask, ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
There were a log of great take-aways in this book. Love the concept of Genius Watching, as well as the focus on being aware of how a leader can influence others - both for growth and for diminishing... I have been playing with ideas from the book, and have seen a change in meetings I have with my teams.
May 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
Do not waste your time with this book. Find something else to read; life is short.
George P.
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
NOTE: Multipliers is a secular business book. I am reviewing it from the perspective of a Christian minister who thinks its insights have application in church and nonprofit ministry contexts. If those are not your contexts, this review may not be the one you want to read

One of the reasons why leading a church is hard work is the problem of what David Allen calls “new demands, insufficient resources.” For example, youth ministry is vital to the health and future of the church, but we all know ho
Daniel Silvert
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing

In Mulipliers, authors Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown explore the roots and applications of effective, inspiring leadership. For Wiseman, leaders can be broadly classified as either Multipliers or Diminishers. A Multiplier creates an environment where each team member is challenged, stretched, passionately engaged, and emerges not only more intelligent for having worked with a Multiplier, but exhilarated at having achieved great things . A Diminisher, as one can imagine, stunts the int
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was ok

60 pages worth of book that took up 250 pages instead.

This book is the quintessential example of researchers trying to find the X factor for success- and just finding common sense.

It's a worthwhile project - to figure out how to make OTHERS better. How to get the most out of people how to multiply your own work and effort exponentially.

This book does make some great points:

1. You know that "genius" or indispensable person that has the smarts, but drives everyone else nuts and makes everyone
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book because it was very inspiring in the fact that it encourages people in the place of leadership to provide a positive atmosphere for their teams. Leaders building up their teams to get better results for the individuals and for the company. Promoting praise where it's due, so that the employees feel appreciated, and addressing some issues that can be worked on for improvement as opposed to the "diminisher" who makes the team members feel like they're not doing a good enou ...more
Alissa Thorne
Some good information could be dug out of this book, but I found the format quite unpleasant. It's filled with self-important charts and Unnecessarily Capitalized Lingo. Using personal experience to demonstrate a point is a good trick, but it would be nice if there was more than a sentence or two of the point itself between all the stories. And frankly, many of the "Diminishers" seemed like flat-out assholes--not sure why you need a whole book to say, "Don't be an asshole." ...more
Amanda Paulin
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and took many lessons from it. One of the biggest is that I need to work on multiplying the skills and assets of my team, instead of diminishing them. I cannot keep all of the knowledge I have in my mind or else we will not grow great and powerful leaders. This is a must read for anyone embarking on any leadership role, be it at work or in their personal lives.
Victoria Chen
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I benefitted from the delineation between the two leadership styles. However, like many other books of this genre, the concepts in this book could've been shortened to a few pages and a table. It got very repetitive and felt like an anecdotal extension of the book "Mindset". ...more
Apr 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
About par for the leadership book course. Important idea dragged out about 200 pages longer than necessary. But still an important idea.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Overly simplistic, not revolutionary. Doesn't provide much actionable advice. Get a summary from a friend, skip the book. ...more
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
One of the most practical, and inspiring leadership books I've come across. Wiseman's premise is there are Multipliers (people who make everyone around them smarter) and Diminishers (people who may be brilliant on their own, but micromanage, and inhibit the growth of everyone around them). Actually, there are very few absolute Multiplier or Diminisher personalities; most of us are someone on the continuum. But this book has excellent ideas on how we can all do more to find and bring out the geni ...more
Bryan Tanner
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
Motivation to Read This Book

"Diminishers only get ½ of the true brainpower of their people." — Liz Wiseman.


Multipliers was a joy to read! But it's an even better resource to pull out when managerial times get tough. While there are lots of invented terms, it's structured in an easy-to-digest format. The end-of-chapter summaries are quick-reference tools. And the memorable case studies and stories drive the points home.

On a personal note, it was an inspirational experience reading a
Angela Lam
This book talks about Multipliers (who amplify others' results) and Diminishers (who, well, diminish others' results). Overall, a great book about leadership with useful insights that ANY leader (at any level of seniority) should benefit from. Still I'm only giving it 4* for a few reasons (to be fair, it's more like a 4.5).

1. The book is clearly written and extremely structured, with main points, subpoints and sub-subpoints all laid out clearly.
2. It has a great blend of concepts with how-t
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: improv-co
A better work book than a read through, Multipliers is full of great advice for managers and leaders. I had the privilege of working under a manager who was using this book as his guide to management, and to this day I list him as the person who has most influenced me and developed me professionally. I've tried to apply what he taught me about leadership, and now I'm happy to have read the original source and apply it asap.

The concepts in this book are simple, but important. I loved it's researc
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read a lot of leadership books thanks to my work in consulting and teaching a college leadership course, and only a few rise to the top of an overcrowded field. This is one of them. Deceptively simple in concept, I think we all immediately recognize what Liz is saying as soon as we read the preface, it looks incisively into how the mind of a multiplier works and how to develop it ourselves. Just as importantly, she introduces us to the concept of the polar opposite, the Diminisher, and warns h ...more
Alyssa Cerretti
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
I agree this book was somewhat repetitive, but I liked hearing the personal stories so it didn’t bother me. I found this book very insightful, but I do wish there would have been more stories about what multipliers were like earlier in their career as young managers.

One research study that I found fascinating was the study on children and puzzles. When children were praised for completing a puzzle, they started choosing simpler puzzles to get the praise for finishing sooner. However when the ch
Adam Alexander
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I so didn’t enjoy this book. I began to realize that I actually don’t know everything in 2004 when I went to business school and discovered just how little I actually knew and how much there was still to learn. I approach everything that comes my way with an open mind. But this book didn’t help much at all. It presents two diametrically opposes types of people and 5 traits or practices of he ideal type. I found myself saying “I do that already” so many times (not a pat on the back, just reflecti ...more
Sergii Khomenko
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A few quotes from the book:

Policies - established to create order - often unintentionally keep people from thinking.

Hold a very high bar for what you must do before you voice your opinion. You need to have data. He has a problem with opinions without data.

All good ideas start as bad ideas, that's why it takes so long. Steven Spielberg

The power of liberators emanates from duality. It isn't enough to just free people's thinking. They created an intense environment that requires people's best think
Suzanne Tanner
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I want to read the version of this book written for parents and teachers. It was fairly good as is, but definitely more for people in corporate leadership positions, and while the ideas were very interesting, all of the suggestions were very specific to corporate/workplace kind of leadership. I know the principles can be applied to parenting and teaching (where I think they could have an even bigger impact), and I wish Wiseman had spent some time talking about how to be a multiplier in these oth ...more
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Liz Wiseman is an American researcher, speaker, executive advisor, and the author of The New York Times bestseller Multipliers

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“When leaders teach, they invest in their people’s ability to solve and avoid problems in the future.” 5 likes
“Perhaps these leaders understood that the person sitting at the apex of the intelligence hierarchy is the genius maker, not the genius.” 4 likes
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