Reading Time: 2 minutes

My book review this week is on Liz Wiseman’s book – Multipliers, Revised and Updated: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. Wiseman is a former executive at Oracle, a best-selling author, executive advisor, and thrice ranked in the top 50 management thinkers.

The book discusses ways to magnify the effects of the people that work around us. We cannot keep adding resources when we need more results. Some leaders, perhaps unintentionally, have a diminishing effect on results. How can we stop this feeling of people being overworked and underutilized?  Some ideas include:

  • Multipliers are “genius makers.” They are able to put aside their own genius, and extract the best output from others. The impact is huge. (Loc. 340)
  • Multipliers engage their teams in a way that builds intelligence – by putting people on projects that stretch them. It’s not just about doing more with less; it’s about making people smarter.
  • Multipliers have a growth mindset, rather than seeing the intelligence of others as fixed, or limited. They believe that the people around them can accomplish greatness.
  • We are all, to some extent, “accidental diminishers.” Ask your teams to tell you when you are behaving in a way that is causing others to shut down.
  • We diminish others when we talk too much, even when our thoughts are brilliant. One suggestion that I loved was to allow yourself only five “poker chips” when you go into a meeting – with each chip being worth a certain amount of time. Once you have spent your chips, you can’t say anything else. (Loc. 1494)
  • If you are the leader, try identifying your ideas as soft opinions or hard opinions. Soft opinions are those that you are offering for consideration. Save your hard opinions for things that really matter; in other words, pick your battles wisely. By identifying your opinions as soft or hard, you give your teams space to comfortably disagree or wrestle with different options openly without fear of being shut down. If you are not the leader, ask the leader if the opinion just expressed is a soft opinion and explain the concept. (Loc. 1514)