The Reluctant Challenger

Which of the five Multiplier disciplines do corporate managers struggle with the most? After several months of assessing management teams across a number of companies (and industries), we found the lowest scores and the most challenging of the five Multiplier disciplines is consistently The Challenger!

Why? It seems most of us aren’t asking people to do the hard stuff.

The Reluctant Challenger. We might think our people are already juggling complex demands or we might sense they are overworked. But, most staff will actually claim that, despite being busy, they are really underutilized. They desperately want more challenge in … Read the rest

My Gratitude / Your Genius

It was almost a year ago that I finished writing the acknowledgements for Multipliers, sent it off to Harper Business and checked it off my list of things to do. Those acknowledgements reflect our deep gratitude for the myriads of people who contributed time and talent to produce Multipliers.

But, our work to get the Multipliers message out into the world continues to be fueled and accelerated by the contributions of friends, colleagues, readers, and influential thought leaders who have generously amplified the message. As tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the U.S., allow me to pause and express gratitude for those … Read the rest

The Accidental Multiplier

People often wonder if they are Accidental Diminishers.  But, have you ever wondered if you might be an Accidental Multiplier—a leader who pushes out ownership and thinking to their team, because they can no longer do it all themselves.

One such leader is Dave Havelek, VP of Investor Relations for Salesforce.com.  Dave is smart and driven, often working from 7AM-Midnight—and beyond.  He is also a self-declared “super-stressed, super-opinionated” leader.

In his last meeting with his team before leaving for a five-day offsite, he ran out of time.  He got through the first four items, but number five was critical: How … Read the rest

Accidental Diminisher Seeking Reform

“Can a Diminisher really become a Multiplier?” This is, perhaps, the most common question we hear – in workshops, at speeches, and even on mysterious inquiries on our website.

Accidental Diminisher Seeking Reform. Several weeks ago we got a short, mysterious inquiry regarding executive coaching on the Wiseman Group website. It simply said, “Accidental Diminisher seeking recovery and reform” and gave contact information. Of course, I couldn’t resist calling to hear the story behind an inquiry so brief it appeared meant for transmission via Morse code or as a personal ad in the newspaper.

“Going out” as a MultiplierRead the rest

Real Choices, Real Consequences, Real Decisions

Can poor farmers in China make better decisions about how to spend the government budget than the experts and elected officials? Can collective intelligence actually outperform the individual intelligence of an elite group of experts?

Setting Policy from the Bottom. In the September 13, 2010 edition of Time Magazine [http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,2015481,00.html], Joe Klein writes a brilliant column illustrating how leaders can tap into the intelligence of their constituents to make the highest stakes decisions with powerful results. This process has roots in the Kleroterion, an ancient Athenian practice of randomly selecting citizens to make the major decisions for … Read the rest

Are You a Genius or a Genius Maker?

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I know of a Stanford professor who is a brilliant thinker and renowned researcher. The unintended consequence is that he is so busy publishing papers, books and blogs that he has a tendency to overlook the brilliance in his students. Specifically, his PhD candidates confess to having no face time with their highly regarded academic advisor. He is so focused on building his own academic empire that he isn’t available to build the careers of the people around him.

Never Turn Away a Question. Contrast this with the late Rajeev Motwani, a professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. … Read the rest

A Multiplier Moment When it Mattered Most

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It is fascinating when two people have a shared experience that they remember so differently. Thus was the dinner conversation with my old Oracle colleague Chris Pirie who is now a General Manager at Microsoft. Although the org chart at the time showed him working for me, I always felt lucky to work with Chris. He is intelligent, innovative, visionary, with a hysterical self-depreciating wit. We recounted two very different perspectives on the days following 9/11, but it was a Multiplier moment for both of us.

Stuck in NY on 9/11. I was driving to SFO to get on … Read the rest

How to Spot a Multiplier: 2 Interview Questions from a Master

Multiplier Fest or Feast? Last week, when the Wiseman Group held our Multipliers Executive Briefing, it was a real “Multiplier Fest.” We had 4 of the Multipliers from the book on an executive panel, and, we have 2 additional Multipliers join us in the audience. The insights flowing from the panel were non-stop. As one participant put it, “That was a real FEAST!”

An Eye for Multipliers. One of the panel members was Tom Friel, former CEO and Chairman of the Board at Heidrick & Struggles who was known for creating an environment there that was both open and

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The Need for Speed

Confessions of This Accidental Diminisher. Recently I decided to take our own “Are you an Accidental Diminisher?” quiz. I had managed to develop it, test it with others, and click through the test dozens of times to make sure it was returning accurate results, all without completing it on myself. I was preparing to teach a session on the perils of the Accidental Diminisher to a group of managers at NetApp, so it seemed only fair that I slow down for a moment to take the test myself….on me.

I got to the scenario about the “gift of gab,” knew … Read the rest

Confessions of an Accidental Diminisher

The Accidental Diminisher.  When we put together our “Are you an Accidental Diminisher?” quiz, I had no idea I’d hear so many personal confessions.  A few nights ago at a community fundraiser, I got stopped by at least five people telling me how they scored on the quiz.  Some shared enthusiastically that they were in the green zone.  My favorite confession was from a technology executive who has a great self depreciating wit and said, “When I took the quiz, I went easy on myself because I didn’t want to find out that I am a Diminisher.  But, I … Read the rest