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Multipliers, Revised and Updated: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter Hardcover – May 16, 2017
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As Lincoln famously put the question: How do leaders bring out the better angels of our nature? Multiplers gets closer to answering this fundamental leadership question than anything I ve read in years. ----Warren Bennis, Distinguished and University Professor at the University of Southern California and author of Still Surprised: A Memoir of of a Life in Leadership."
This book will speak to every CEO and CFO. Multipliers get so much from their people that they effectively double their workforce for free. ----John Doerr, General Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers"
Every so often a book comes along that forces us to ask important and difficult questions of ourselves. Multipliers is such a book. Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown challenge us to imagine a dramatically more productive future for our organizations ----Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO"
In over 30 years of evaluating executives it was clear to me that some achieved much more than others, but it wasn t always clear why. Wiseman and McKeown present a fresh and compelling analysis of how Multipliers create value while others destroy it. ----Tom Friel, Former CEO and Chairman of the Board, Heidrick & Struggles"
We ve all known Multipliers people who bring the best, not the worst, out of everyone around them. They re a company s greatest resource. If you want to learn how to become a Multiplier or transform others into genuine Multipliers, read on. ----Kerry Patterson, bestselling author, Crucial Conversations"
A fascinating book that shows how mindsets shape the way people lead. This book will forever change the way we think about leadership. ----Carol Dweck, Lewis & Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Stanford University; author of Mindset"
Wiseman and McKeown s insights are helpful, practical, and relevant. Any leader who needs to get more done with the same (or fewer) resources will find this book a gift and a valuable resource. ----Dave Ulrich, Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan"
As managers around the world grapple with a complex economic environment, this book provides a rich roadmap for extracting the full value of the people in their organizations. This book is a great investment for anyone managing a business in the innovation marketplace. ----Jeff Henley, chairman of the board, Oracle Corporation"
Multipliers is a compelling read. A must have manual for any in a leadership position or aspiring to become a leader. It s obvious Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown did their homework and those of us who read Multipliers are all the better for it. ----Byron Pitts, 60 Minutes"
This engaging and subversive book asks a vital question: How can we grow and harness human talent to address the great issues of our day? Multipliers makes us rethink many of our old assumptions. ----Gareth Jones, visiting professor, IE Madrid; coauthor, Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?"
This book touches upon such a fundamental truth about leadership one that has been waiting to be named, explored, and finally addressed. Liz and Greg have created a language that will be with us for a very long time impacting millions. --Verne Harnish, Founder, Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO), CEO, Gazelles"
Multipliers is brilliant and extraordinarily timely! It belongs on the bookshelf of every leader-and every leadership scholar. ----Roderick M. Kramer, William R. Kimball Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford University Graduate School of Business"
A well-organized system that could be used as a personal tool or as a workbook for team-development seminars. --Booklist"
The authors succeed brilliantly in addressing a critical but unexplored phenomenon-- how leaders unleash smarts and capability in others. Multipliers is a must read for all those who aspire to lead in the knowledge economy. --C.K. Prahalad, Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan and author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid"
Multipliers is a great manifesto for today s leaders. The authors provide a hands-on guide showing leaders how to make their total organization smarter by tapping the brainpower of everyone at all levels. A very timely and insightful book. --Noel Tichy co-author of Judgment with Warren Bennis, and Professor of Management & Organizations at the University of Michigan"
From the Back Cover
A revised and updated edition of the acclaimed national bestseller that explores why some leaders drain capability and intelligence from their teams while others amplify THEM to produce better results
We’ve all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders. The first type drain intelligence, energy, and capability from the people around them and always need to be the smartest ones in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment. On the other side of the spectrum are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. When these leaders 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. These are the Multipliers. And the world needs more of them, especially now, when leaders are expected to do more with less.
In this engaging and highly practical book, leadership expert Liz Wiseman explores these two leadership styles, persuasively showing how Multipliers can have a resoundingly positive and profitable effect on organizations—getting more done with fewer resources, developing and attracting talent, and cultivating new ideas and energy to drive organizational change and innovation.
In analyzing data from more than two hundred leaders, Wiseman has identified five disciplines that distinguish Multipliers from Diminishers. These five disciplines are not based on innate talent; indeed, they are skills and practices that everyone can learn to use—even lifelong and recalcitrant Diminishers. Lively, real-world case studies and practical tips and techniques bring to life each of these principles, showing you how to become a Multiplier too, whether you are a new or an experienced manager. This revered classic has been updated with new examples of Multipliers as well as two new chapters on accidental Diminishers and how to deal with Diminishers.
Just imagine what you could accomplish if you could harness all the energy and intelligence surrounding you. Multipliers, Revised and Updated will show you how.
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One of the reasons why leading a church is hard work is the problem of what David Allen calls “new demands, insufficient resources.” For example, youth ministry is vital to the health and future of the church, but we all know how hard it is to get volunteers to work with junior high students. Even Jesus faced this problem: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37).
The first solution to the problem of new demands and insufficient resources is specific prayer. “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:38). God sees the new demands, but unlike us, He doesn’t lack sufficient resources: “my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Complementing prayer is a second solution: the right people. Jesus taught us to pray for more “workers.” Paul described the Church as a “body” with variously gifted “parts” (1 Corinthians 12:12–31). The unfortunate fact is that too many pastors and other ministry leaders try to respond to new demands on their own — with only the gifts, talents and resources God has given them personally. They fail to see the gifts, talents and resources God has given them corporately, in their congregations. The consequence of this failure is burned-out pastors and leaders on the one hand and bored, frustrated and underutilized followers on the other.
Liz Wiseman wrote Multipliers, now out in a revised and updated edition, to figure out how leaders can grow both the intelligence and capability of their organizations. Although she wrote it for a business audience, I couldn’t help but see its relevance to the problem of new demands and insufficient resources in churches too.
Let me try to explain:
Multipliers vs. Diminishers
Wiseman begins the book with this observation: “There is more intelligence inside our organizations than we are using” (emphasis in original). Multiplication taps into this intelligence. Its logic can be understood through three statements:
1. Most people in organizations are underutilized.
2. All capability can be leveraged with the right kind of leadership.
3. Therefore, intelligence and capability can be multiplied without requiring a bigger investment.
As a former staff and senior pastor and a current church member, I agree with the first statement wholeheartedly. Too many people in any given congregation sit in the pew on Sunday morning … but nothing else. They are spiritual consumers, not spiritual producers.
Regarding the third statement, I certainly hope my church can do more without investing in additional staff and buildings. I’d like to see a more productive and efficient use of what we already have before we lay out more money for sparkly new stuff.
The second statement, then, is key: We need “the right kind of leadership.” Wiseman calls these leaders Multipliers and contrasts them with Diminishers. Multipliers tap into the intelligence of their organizations, grow it and increase the capability of their team members and of their organization. Diminishers “shut down the smarts of those around them.” Multipliers begin with the assumption, “People are smart and will figure this out.” Diminishers begin with the assumption, “They will never figure this out without me.”
According to Wiseman, no leader is entirely a Multiplier or entirely a Diminisher. Instead, all leaders perform on a spectrum, with both Multiplier and Diminisher tendencies. This means leaders can move either way on the spectrum.
Two important questions now arise: How do Multipliers lead? And how do I become a Multiplier?
Wiseman’s research indicates that Multipliers lead by engaging in five specific roles:
1. The Talent Magnet: “[T]hey attract and deploy talent to its fullest, regardless of who owns the resource, and people flock to work with them because they know they will grow and be successful.”
2. The Liberator: “Multipliers establish a unique and highly motivating work environment where everyone has permission to think and the space to do their best work.”
3. The Challenger: “They seed opportunities, lay down challenges that stretch the organization, and in doing so, generate belief that it can be done and enthusiasm about the process.”
4. The Debate Maker: “Multipliers engage people in debating the issues up front, which leads to decisions that people understand and can execute efficiently.”
5. The Investor: “Multipliers deliver and sustain superior results by inculcating high expectations across the organization.”
Now, before you dismiss this as so much business-book gobbledygook, try thinking of Jesus’ leadership in terms of Wiseman’s five roles:
The Talent Magnet: Jesus’s disciples, despite not being religious, political, economic or academic elites, established a religion that is still thriving 2,000 years later.
The Liberator: Jesus empowered His followers to preach the same message as He did, with signs and wonders following (Matthew 10:1–42; Mark 6:6–13; Luke 10:1–24).
The Challenger: Read those three Synoptic Gospel passages cited above, then reminder that Jesus commissioned His followers to do these things in His absence. Not only that, He left the task to “make disciples of all nations” both to His first-century followers and to us (Matthew 18:18). The Great Commission is a perpetual challenge that Christ has called and empowered us to fulfill.
The Debate Maker: We rightly think of Jesus as a master teacher, but we fail to appreciate how often He taught by means of debate. In his book, All the Questions Jesus Asks, Stan Guthrie notes that Jesus asked 295 questions. That number doesn’t even include all the questions Jesus was asked by others.
The Investor: Could any expectation be higher than what Jesus told His disciples in John 20:21: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you”?
Please don’t misunderstand me. Multipliers is a business book, not a ministry book. It’s written from a secular perspective, not a biblical one. It addresses a specific question in leadership — how to leverage capability through leadership. It is neither the first nor last word on leadership, let alone the first or last word on the pastoral leadership of Christian congregations.
Still, it has incredible diagnostic value because it helps identify the kinds of practices that do (and don’t) make the best use of resources in an organization, including, in my opinion, the local church.
So, how can pastors and other ministry leaders become Multipliers?
To answer that, we need to depart from Wiseman for a moment and remember the words of Jesus himself, “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:38). Ministry is not about making widgets but about making disciples, and the only person who can make a disciple is one who is himself being discipled. Ministry is spiritual work and requires spiritual growth, which comes first and foremost through a prayerful relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Ministry is also relational, however. And the ministry of leadership requires that we work in relationship with the spiritually gifted people God has placed in our pews. Wiseman offers five pieces of advice to business leaders as they resolve to move from the Diminisher to the Multiplier side of the leadership spectrum, and I’d like to tweak these for ministry settings:
First, start with the assumptions: Do I assume that my congregation is spiritually gifted to do the ministry (Multiplier) or do I assume that I must do it myself or micromanage them in the process (Diminisher)?
Second, work the extremes (neutralize a weakness; top off a strength): Am I surrounding myself with others whose ministry strengths complement my ministry weaknesses? Am I working hard to develop the ministry gifts that I am best at personally?
Third, run an experiment: Am I actively trying to develop new Multiplier habits by identifying my Diminisher tendencies and replacing them with Multiplier assumptions and practices?
Fourth, brace yourself for setbacks: Change always involves a measure of failure. The apostle Peter, for example, was the first (and only) apostle to walk on water, but also the first (and only) apostle to sink after walking on water. If Jesus picked Peter up and got him back on the boat, He can do the same for you.
Fifth, ask a colleague: If “the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’” (1 Corinthians 12:21), then Christian leaders cannot isolate themselves from either their ministry peers or the people they lead. The title of Reuben Welch’s classic book on Christian community gets it exactly right: We Really Do Need Each Other.
So, back to the problem of “new demands, insufficient resources” that I mentioned at the outset of this review. Yes, it is a real problem that pastors and other ministry leaders feel deeply. But prayer to our infinitely resourceful God and wise leadership practices can help us more fully utilize the capabilities of our spiritually gifted congregations. There are, after all, more spiritual gifts in our congregations than we are currently using.
Are you the kind of leader who can multiply them?
Wiseman cites dozens of real-world examples that suggest how almost any organization (regardless of its size or nature) can plan, implement, accelerate, and sustain a human development program that strengthens participants' leadership and management skills that (a) will enable them to multiply the intelligence and capability of the people around them and (b) avoid behaviors that can diminish people's ability and enthusiasm
As Wiseman clearly realizes, people combine some of the best and worst traits of both the Multiplier and Diminisher. Strengths can become weaknesses or vice versa if carried to an extreme. A Talent Magnet, for example, could be especially effective recognizing and attracting high-potentials and then hoard their talents, exploiting them to her or his advantage. A Micro Manager could be especially alert for significant details that others ignore but deny other people's professional development by refusing to delegate tasks to them. In the healthiest organizations, there are constant efforts to increase (multiply) positive and productive engagement while reducing (diminishing) waste.
In the revised and update edition (May 2017), Wiseman develops in even greater depth many of her brilliant insights that were first introduced in 2010. In this context, I am reminded of an incident that occurred years ago when one of Albert Einstein’s faculty colleagues at Princeton gently chided him asking the same questions each year on his final examination. “Quite true. Guilty as charged. Every year the answers are different.” All organizations always need leaders who make everyone smarter and they need these leaders at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise. Multipliers must also sustain cultural change in a competitive marketplace that is more volatile, more uncertain, more complex, and more ambiguous than at any prior time that I can remember.
What’s new in the revised and expanded edition?
According to Wiseman, they include a Preface “that describes the changing landscape of management and why leaders can and must get more from their talent (Pages xvii-xxii); A new chapter on the ways that well-intended leaders become ‘Accidental Diminishers’ (Chapter 7); A new chapter on how to deal with Diminishers and minimize their impact on yourself and others (Chapter 8); A new section on how to effect lasting change inside corporations (Chapter 9); A new set of tools to enable managers to put the ideas into action (Appendix E).” She also includes a number of new case studies of Multiplier leaders throughout her lively and eloquent narrative.
Wiseman again focuses on seven familiar archetypes:
Multiplier sees issues in Technicolor
Diminisher sees them in black-and-white
Talent Manager builds a consensus driven by ability and diversity
Liberator creates a culture with discipline that nourishes growth and development
Challenger embraces opportunity but is wary of assumptions and premises
Debate Maker: Achieves high-impact results, guided and informed by collective judgment
Investor: Sees the objective, applies the resources, and proceeds with strict accountability
Of course, as Wiseman points out, Diminishers reduce morale and performance whereas Multipliers “make everyone smarter.” Empire Builders hoard talent whereas Talent Managers nourish it. Tyrants impose their will whereas Liberators celebrate principled dissent. Know-It-Alls think and live in terms of first-person-singular pronouns whereas Challengers seem to have first-person-plural pronouns in their DNA. Micromanagers are hostage to details that support what James O’Toole characterizes as “the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom” whereas Investors thrive through others’ achievements
For whom will this book be most valuable? First, for those who must -- in Alvin Toffler’s words -- “learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Also, for their supervisors and other decision-makers who need to strengthen leadership and management skills.