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Book:  Multipliers

Author:  Liz Wiseman

Purchase:  Print | eBook | Audiobook

Citation:  Wiseman, L. (2017). Multipliers : how the best leaders make everyone smarter. New York, NY: HarperBusiness, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.

Three Big Takeaways:
  1. When employees were asked what percentage of their capability they were giving a poor leader, the numbers typically ranged between 20 and 50 percent.  When asked what percentage of their capability they were giving strong leaders, the numbers typically fell between 70 and 100 percent. (pg. 11)

  2. When a decision is made, the process should be transparent.  The decision needs to be communicated and the rationale should be explained. (pg. 148)

  3. Consider saying this to your employees: "When it comes to how we run this are of the company, you get 51 percent of the vote...but you're 100 percent responsible for the result. (pg. 168)


Other Key Ideas:

​The best leaders drive sound decisions through rigorous debate. They engage people in debating the issues up front, which leads to decisions that people understand and can execute. (pg. 22)

The best leaders aren't necessarily comedians, but they don't take themselves or situations too seriously. The can laugh at themselves and their mistakes. Those staff who work in a fun environment have great productivity, interpersonal effectiveness, and call in sick less often. (pg. 26)

At first, it might appear costly to remove a strong leader or who brings down others. However, these people cause others to operate at about 50 percent of their full intelligence and capability. (pg. 54)

The best leaders encourage people to grow and leave. They write letters of recommendation and they help people find their next stage to perform on. And when people leave, they celebrate their departures and shout their success to everyone. (pg. 61)

Great leaders operate as a peer to everyone and are accessible to all. Even if the employee works in a support staff position, the leader wants to know what you think. As a result, people are more transparent, they feel more safe, and they operate with no surprises. (pg. 70)

When direct reports meet one-on-one with great leaders the leader will give their full attention. The leaders listens intently and asks what is really happening on the ground. They ask probing questions. In a typical conversation, some of the best leaders end up spending 80 percent of the time listening and asking questions. (pg. 79)​​

The secret to a great decision is what the leader does before the debate starts. They ask the right questions. They frame the issues and process in a way that everyone can contribute. They know that the debate will be richest if it is based on facts, not opinions. They communicate how the final decision will be made. They know who is going to make the decision and when so that people aren't left in limbo wondering how the decision will be made. (pg. 139)​​​​

Managers need to be measured. What gets measured gets done. Consider using a 360 survey from the people who work for/with the manager. This data can be incorporated into a performance review and can also identify the collective strengths and weaknesses of the leaders in an organization. (pg. 276)

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