Every month the Envision team gets together to discuss an inspirational book we’ve read. Recently, we chose a thought-provoking leadership book by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown.

“Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” brings a truly unique perspective that I haven’t seen in the many leadership books I have read. I would even go as far as place Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown’s book in my top 20 of business books of all time, sharing the shelf with “The E-Myth”, “How To Win Friends and Influence People” and “Think and Grow Rich”. This is a must-read for any business owner who wants to grow their company.

The book’s basic premise is that there are two types of leaders: those who take away energy (or diminishers) and those who create energy (or multipliers). Sounds simple right? As you read on, you will probably find yourself leaning slightly towards the “take away energy” style of leader. The book goes into great detail on how you can change that.

A diminisher believes that they are generally the smartest person in the room and that if it were not for them, nothing would get done. A diminisher is always right. Think dictator-like. Diminishers are:

  1. Empire builders
  2. Tyrants
  3. Know-it-alls
  4. Decision makers
  5. Micro managers

A multiplier sees the world in a very different way. They feel their objective as a leader is to bring out each person’s unique ability or native genius. They see talent everywhere and are not concerned about being the smartest or right all the time. Multipliers are:

  1. Talent magnets
  2. Liberators
  3. Challengers
  4. Debate makers
  5. Investors

In their research of 150 executives around world, Wiseman and McKeown found that the staff productivity levels of organizations run by diminishers only accessed about 20 to 50 percent of their staff’s capabilities. A multiplier used 70 to 100% or much more.

So the big question is: which one are you? Are you an accidental diminisher? If so, how can you change? Like me and other business owners I know, you are probably a little bit of both. The first step is awareness. They have posted a free quiz for you to take online (the accidental dimisher quiz) to see where you stand.

Luckily Wiseman and McKeown feel that becoming a multiplier can be learned. The book has examples of CEOs like Bill Campbell (from Intuit) who converted to a multiplier style, and tons of stories of both diminishers and multipliers. In conclusion, I highly recommend picking up this book. It may be a hard pill to swallow for some, but it will be worth it in the end. It will change your perspective about leading a company. It certainly changed mine.

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