There are multipliers… and then there are diminishers.

Picking up this book changed the framework and the vocabulary I use to think about how people help or hurt those around them and the projects they are working on.  Liz Wiseman studied hundreds of employees to understand what makes some leaders effective while other qualities destroy


  • Amplify those around them – people get smarter and do better in their presence
  • Good ideas are generated with them around (not necessarily by them)
  • Their presence makes meetings more effective


  • Ignore the resources others have to offer
  • Idea killers and energy destroyers
  • Make themselves look smart by making others look dumb
  • Focus on their own intelligence

Five Disciplines of a Multiplier:

  1. Attracts and optimize talent
  2. Creates intensity that requires best thinking
  3. Extends challenges that cause people to strive for better
  4. Debates decisions in a productive way before assisting decision making
  5. Instills ownership and accountability

I suggest you pick up this book to understand the qualities of both multipliers and diminishers a bit better, in order to ensure you not only do the best you can do, but enable others to do the same.

Here’s a few “best practices” I jotted down:

  • Look for talent everywhere (This mostly means getting to know people – and really listening to what they’re saying or wanting to be doing)
  • Find people’s native genius (The first step is to notice what they are naturally drawn to or good at and the second step is to acknowledge their talent and put them in a position they can use those talents.)
  • Remove as many blockers as possible (Don’t be afraid to step in and restructure from time to time)
  • Ignore boundaries (What “rules” or assumed rules are hindering progress or effective utilization of resources?)

“The person at the apex of the intelligence hierarchy is the genius maker, not the genius.”


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