Are you a genius or a genius maker?

There are two very different types of leaders. The first type drain intelligence, energy, and capability from the ones 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. These are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. These are the Multipliers.

In (#Ad) Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, leadership expert Liz Wiseman and management consultant Greg McKeown explore these two leadership styles, showing how Multipliers 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.” (From Goodreads)

Top 50 Best Quotes from Multipliers by Liz Wiseman

“The Diminisher is a Micromanager who jumps in and out. The Multiplier is an Investor who gives others ownership and full accountability.” — Liz Wiseman

“MULTIPLIERS: These leaders are genius makers who bring out the intelligence in others. They build collective, viral intelligence in organizations.” – Liz Wiseman

“DIMINISHERS: These leaders are absorbed in their own intelligence, stifle others, and deplete the organization of crucial intelligence and capability.” – Liz Wiseman

“Yes, certain leaders amplify intelligence. These leaders, whom we have come to call Multipliers, create collective, viral intelligence in organizations. Other leaders act as Diminishers and deplete the organization of crucial intelligence and capability.” – Liz Wiseman

“The Diminisher is an Empire Builder. The Multiplier is a Talent Magnet.” Liz Wiseman

“Diminishers are Decision Makers who try to sell their decisions to others. Multipliers are Debate Makers who generate real buy-in.” Liz Wiseman

“Multipliers invoke each person’s unique intelligence and create an atmosphere of genius—innovation, productive effort, and collective intelligence.” Liz Wiseman

“Sometimes a 90 percent solution executed with 100 percent ownership is better than getting it 100 percent right with a disengaged team.” Liz Wiseman

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. ANTOINE DE ST. EXUPERY” Liz Wiseman

“Perhaps these leaders understood that the person sitting at the apex of the intelligence hierarchy is the genius maker, not the genius.” Liz Wiseman

“It isn’t how much you know that matters. What matters is how much access you have to what other people know. It isn’t just how intelligent your team members are; it is how much of that intelligence you can draw out and put to use.” Liz Wiseman

“Multipliers aren’t “feel-good” managers. They look into people and find capability, and they want to access all of it. They utilize people to their fullest. They see a lot, so they expect a lot.” Liz Wiseman

“When leaders teach, they invest in their people’s ability to solve and avoid problems in the future.” Liz Wiseman

“Mistakes are an essential part of progress.” Liz Wiseman

“Some leaders seemed to drain the intelligence and capability out of the people around them…[f]or them to look smart, other people had to end up looking dumb. We’ve all worked with these black holes. They create a vortex that sucks energy out of everyone and everything around them.” Liz Wiseman

“How do you want to be remembered as a leader? Someone with a big personality? or someone around whom other people grew?” Liz Wiseman

“THE FOUR PRACTICES OF THE TALENT MAGNET Among the Multipliers we studied in our research, we found four active practices that together catalyze and sustain this cycle of attraction. These Talent Magnets: 1) look for talent everywhere; 2) find people’s native genius; 3) utilize people at their fullest; and 4) remove the blockers.” Liz Wiseman

“Victor Hugo once said, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Liz Wiseman

“There is more intelligence inside our organizations than we are using.” Liz Wiseman

“Those who work in a fun environment have greater productivity, interpersonal effectiveness, and call in sick less often.” Liz Wiseman

“It is better to debate a decision without settling it than settling a decision without debating it. JOSEPH JOUBERT” Liz Wiseman

“To lead on purpose, we must understand how we diminish by accident.” Liz Wiseman

“the leader’s job is to put other people on stage.” Liz Wiseman

“Micromanagers hand over work to others, but they take it back the moment problems arise.” Liz Wiseman

“Finding people’s native genius and then labeling it is a direct approach to drawing more intelligence from them.” Liz Wiseman

“When leaders define clear ownership and invest in others, they have sown the seeds of success and earned the right to hold people accountable.” Liz Wiseman

“Ignore me as needed to get your job done.” Liz Wiseman

“Don’t just identify the problem; find a solution.” Liz Wiseman

“…when you become the leader, the center of gravity is no longer yourself.” Liz Wiseman

“Leaders rooted in the logic of multiplication believe: 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.” Liz Wiseman

“Carol Dweck of Stanford University has conducted groundbreaking research showing that children given a series of progressively harder puzzles and praised for their intelligence stagnate for fear of reaching the limit of their intelligence. Children given the same series of puzzles but then praised for their hard work actually increased their ability to reason and to solve problems. When these children were recognized for their efforts to think, they created a belief, and then a reality, that intelligence grows.” Liz Wiseman

“Jae reflected on the leader’s role: “You can jump in and teach and coach, but then you have to give the pen back. When you give that pen back, your people know they are still in charge.” When something is off the rails, do you take over or do you invest? When you take the pen to add your ideas, do you give it back? Or does it stay in your pocket? Multipliers invest in the success of others. They may jump in to teach and share their ideas, but they always return to accountability. When leaders fail to return ownership, they create dependent organizations. This is the way of the Diminisher. They jump in, save the day, and drive results through their personal involvement. When leaders return the pen, they cement the accountability for action where it should be. This creates organizations that are free from the nagging need of the leader’s rescue.” Liz Wiseman

“But if people aren’t aware of their genius, they are not in a position to deliberately utilize it. By telling people what you see, you can raise their awareness and confidence, allowing them to provide their capability more fully.” Liz Wiseman

“changing a culture meant changing the conversation. And, to change the conversation, people would need new words, especially words about behaviors that would lead to winning results.” Liz Wiseman

“Talent Magnets remove the barriers that block the growth of intelligence in their people.” Liz Wiseman

“There are risks in every action. Every success has the seed of some failure.” Liz Wiseman

“Divide and conquer is the modus operandi of Empire Builders.” Liz Wiseman

“Empire Builders stifle their talent by hogging the limelight for themselves.” Liz Wiseman

“Your biggest opportunity to inspire Multiplier leadership might be in learning to recognize your own Diminisher traits and convert these conditions into Multiplier moments.” Liz Wiseman


The Empire Builder: Hoards resources and underutilizes talent; The Tyrant: Creates a tense environment that suppresses people’s thinking and capability; The Know-It-All: Gives directives that showcase how much they know; The Decision Maker: Makes centralized, abrupt decisions that confuse the organization; The Micro Manager: Drives results through their personal involvement Liz Wiseman


The Talent Magnet: Attracts talented people and uses them at their highest point of contribution; The Liberator: Creates an intense environment that requires people’s best thinking and work; The Challenger: Defines an opportunity that causes people to stretch; The Debate Maker: Drives sound decisions through rigorous debate” Liz Wiseman

“The promise of a Multiplier is that they get twice the capacity, plus a growth dividend from their people as their genius expands under the leadership of the Multiplier.” Liz Wiseman

“Exhausting but exhilarating” captures what people continually told us it was like to work for a Multiplier. One woman said, “It was exhausting but I was always ready to do it again. It is not a burnout experience—it is a build-up experience.” As you become more of a Multiplier, people will flock to you because you will be “the boss to work for.” You will become a Talent Magnet, drawing in and developing talent while providing extraordinary returns to the company as well as to the individuals who work for you.” Liz Wiseman

“Multipliers lead people by operating as Talent Magnets, whereby they attract and deploy talent to its fullest regardless of who owns the resource. ” Liz Wiseman

“Multipliers use humor to create comfort and to spark the natural energy and intelligence of others.” Liz Wiseman

“As leaders, sometimes we are most helpful when we don’t help.” Liz Wiseman

“Better leverage and utilization of resources at the organizational level require adopting a new corporate logic. This new logic is one of multiplication.” Liz Wiseman

“Resource leverage is a far richer concept than just “accomplish more with less.” Multipliers don’t necessarily get more with less. They get more by using more—more of people’s intelligence and capability.” Liz Wiseman

“However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light. STANLEY KUBRICK” Liz Wiseman

“I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow. WOODROW WILSON” Liz Wiseman

Liz Wiseman

Liz Wiseman is a researcher and executive advisor who teaches leadership to executives around the world. She is the author of New York Times bestseller (#Ad) Multipliers:  How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, (#Ad) The Multiplier Effect:  Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools, and Wall Street Journal bestseller (#Ad) Rookie Smarts:  Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work. 

She is the CEO of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, California.


Greg McKeown is the author of t (#AD) Effortless: Make It Easy to Get the Right Things Done, and  (#Ad) Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, which hit The New York Times bestseller list and has sold more than a million copies. He is also a speaker and the host of the popular podcast What’s Essential.

Greg has been covered by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Fast Company, Fortune, Politico, and Inc., has been interviewed by NPR, NBC, Fox, and The Steve Harvey Show, and is among the most popular bloggers for LinkedIn. He is also a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum. Originally from London, England, he now resides in California with his wife, Anna, and their four children. He is a Bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)