I was just helping my middle son with a book report and after we were done, the thought came to me that my son was a muliplier in many ways. That is when I realized that I needed to write my own book review of this truly career-changing book called "Multipliers" (Harper Business, $25.99) which was published in 2010. It has helped change what type of leader I am.
What would you be willing to do to become the type of leader that not only achieves results but exceeds them? OK, now that you have thought about many great ideas, let me provide one suggestion that can change your life completely from a leadership perspective: Read, ponder and apply what is in the book "Multipliers."
Now I know there are enough leadership books out there that we can get lost trying to find the right one, I have done that many times. I would say that all leadership books are worthy of being read, you just have to know what you are looking for and then read away. That said, the book "Multipliers — Are You One?" is the type of book that once you read it and apply what you learn can make the other leadership books that much better. I would say that it is a little ironic that your learning will multiply.
Author Liz Wiseman, with the help of Greg McKowen, embarked on a mission to see what set different types of leaders apart. They captured two different styles of leaders. The first type "drain intelligence, energy, capability from the ones around them and always need to be the smartest ones in the room."
The second type are leaders who "use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them." So the question you need to ask yourself is which one are you? The key is to understand in more detail what makes these two types of leaders tick. As you begin to understand, the concept of multipliers will enter as will the concept of a diminisher.
I think we would all be hard pressed to quickly label ourselves as a diminisher. However, as you start to analyze what the authors found in their research, the truth is there are a lot more diminishers out there than multipliers, and that is a problem. This book sets out to help leaders identify what type of leader they are and then help push them more in the direction of a multiplier.
I found something that really gave me confidence early in this book and its authors, it was a promise that "you can be a Multiplier." As I read that, I began to believe that all hope was not loss in me as a leader and even though I had my shortfalls, if I was willing to apply what I would learn in this book, I could improve and move more towards that of a multiplier. That was exciting and really got me so hooked that it was tough to stop reading.
The book is full of interviews, research, experiences and insights. If you are one who takes notes, be sure to have a clean notebook and new pen. If you are a highlighter, get a couple new ones ready. You will actually paint a clear picture of where you currently are and where you want to be. What is so powerful is that gap you will most likely find is not nearly as big as you may have thought, and if you really ponder and apply the principles in this book, you will achieve great things.
I don't want to give away what you will read within this book, but they identify five disciplines of the multiplier. I will provide one example to whet your appetite. The book says, "The Diminisher is an Empire Builder. The Multiplier is a Talent Magnet." Now, take that concept and think about it for a minute. I bet you can identify leaders you know or have worked with that fit in both of those categories. Where do you fit and why? It is this type of reality check that is a constant theme throughout the book.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to make positive change in their life. Although this may be labeled as a leadership book, I would say this is for anyone. This can be for the homemaker who wants to help elevate kids and spouse. This can be for the youth leader who wants to generate powerful leaders. This can be for the Scoutmaster who struggles to get other adult leaders and parents to provide assistance.
Also, this can be for the teenager who is looking to do something great and just needs some strong starting points. This can be for the religious leader who struggles to help his congregation reach new levels of belief and understanding. This book is for everyone. There is no better feeling than those moments when you feel you are a multiplier.
Seth Saunders is president of the Pembroke Branch (Spanish) and president of the Pink Shoe Hero Foundation. He has been married 15 years to his wife Amber and is the father of three sons.