Business Leadership Skill - Multipliers

Business Leadership Skill - Multipliers

Multipliers - Book Highlights

“Some leaders drain all the intelligence and capability out of their teams. Because they need to be the most capable person in the room, these managers shut down the smarts of others, ultimately stifling the flow of ideas. At the other extreme are leaders who care less about flaunting their own IQs and more about fostering a culture of intelligence in their companies.”

A vital leadership question is, “why do some leaders drain intelligence, while others amplify it?” The authors studied 150 leaders in 35 companies over 4 different continents to find answers to the question.


Who are the diminishers? Have you worked with someone who when they run a meeting, they come across excessively polished at the expense of everyone else in the room? Diminishers are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment. They focus in on themselves, and ensure that they are perceived as being more capable than everyone. Instead of building others up in the meeting, they diminish everyone. In short, diminishers shut the growth and potential of others.


Multipliers can have a tremendous positive impact on organizations.

“A multiplier is someone who builds, stretches and multiplies the self-worth and talents of others. They amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. When multipliers walk into a room, light bulbs go off over people’s heads; ideas flow and problems get solved. These are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations.”

Key Traits of Multipliers

The authors learned that there were five differences between the multipliers and diminishers. The multipliers act as:

    • Talent magnets: identify and brings out the best in people
    • Liberators: create environments that encourages peoples best thinking and work
    • Challengers: define opportunities that cause people to stretch
    • Debate Makers: drives sound decisions through healthy debate
    • Investors: give others the training and resources to help them succeed. They give others the ownership and credit for results.

Talent Magnets

Diminishers focus on creating their careers and empires. While they can persuade and attract talent, once the talent is onboard, they do little to nurture and build it. Diminishers are always focused on themselves and aren’t motivated by helping others to grow and reach their potential.

They create environments that attract and build talent. They identify and bring out the best in people. They create environments that attract talent. They care about people and their ultimate growth, whether that be within the organization or outside of it. A multiplier creates an environment that attracts talent.

Multipliers know where their people can excel, and they give them assignments to help them tap into their talents. They remove barriers that the stand in the way.


Liberators create environments where their workers can flourish. Too many leaders are tyrants and use intimidation to get they want. Workers close down in these environments. Liberators are different. They know that people only work at peak performance if the environment is open and honest. They are intense listeners. They encourage their staff to contribute their very best ideas.


They lay out opportunities that cause people to stretch. They create energetic, fast paced, learning environments, where everyone is contributing their best. Instead of telling people how and what to do, they create an intense interest. They spark interest, they seed opportunities, they lay down a challenge, they stretch, and they generate belief.

Debate Maker

Multipliers drive sound decisions through healthy debate. They are inquisitive. They ask probing questions. Diminishers on the other hand micromanage and believe that the team can’t figure things out without them.

Business Leadership Skill - Multipliers

Highlights by David Willden