Leadership is a topic that I love reading about and the more I learn, the more misconceptions I discover.   Multipliers by Liz Wiseman is a brilliant book that is definitely worthy of discussion.


Multipliers explores the difference between leaders who bring out the best in others and amplify the smarts in their team (multipliers) and leaders who drain intelligence and energy from those around them and always need to be the smartest person in the room (diminishers).

The misconception that leaders ‘must have all the answers’,  ‘make all the decisions’ and ‘be the smartest’ is perhaps my biggest discovery from the book! The best leaders do none of these – but they allow their team to figure it out!

I personally recommend reading Multipliers if you are a leader of any group – family, company, sporting team or non for profit.

I actually finished the book in perfect time as I had the opportunity to be a panelist on the topic on Ethical Leadership at an event run by AIESEC and CPA Australia.

Photo courtesy of Courier Mail

As a side note, the event was literally across the road from the Eagle St Yacht siege, so I suspect this may had an impact on the numbers in attendance!

What is ethical leadership?

My immediately response was that being a leader is no longer about you — it is about your team. And getting the most from (and for) your team.

Plus knowing what I learnt from Multipliers, I answered that leaders have an ethical responsibility to get the very best from their team.  You need to demand people’s best work, but then you need to get out of their way so they can deliver.
Rather than ‘provide the answers’  your role is to harness the intelligence of the team so they can figure out the answers.  Afterall, the leader is seldom the smartest & NEVER smarter than the collective intelligence!

What challenges to leaders face?
Getting the right people in their team.  Skills can be trained but cultural fit cannot.  Rather than teach people your company culture, hire people who already have those traits in the personality.

Your organisation’s culture is a direct reflection of your core values.  Once you live and breath your core values, all decisions your team makes can be framed against those values.  When faced with a challenge or opportunity, you can simply ask, “is this aligned with our core values”? If yes, there’s no problem.  But if they are the misaligned, you may have a problem that needs some attention!

This is simple, but certainly not easy!

What tips tips can you give to aspiring leaders?
1. Talk less (even when you know the answers)
2. Ask more questions
3. Shine the light on others,
4. Be intellectually curious,
5. Demand people’s best work & then get out of their way!

In this interview with Verne Harnish, Liz Wiseman explains the notion of a Multiplier in more detail.

How would you have responded?  What are your leadership tips?


liz wiseman, multipliers, yacht siege

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