The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools


We’ve all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders. The first type drains intelligence, energy, and capability from the people around them and needs to be the smartest person in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the Diminishers of talent and capability.

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 on; ideas flow and problems get solved. These are the leaders who inspire teachers and administrators to stretch themselves and surpass expectations. These leaders use their smarts to make everyone around them smarter and more capable. These leaders are Multipliers. The educational system needs intelligence Multipliers right now especially when leaders must do more with less.

Taking a deep dive with more than 100 of education’s best leaders, the authors explore the five disciplines that distinguish Multipliers from Diminishers and how these leaders attract and develop talent, as well as harness new ideas and energy to drive educational innovation. The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius in our Schools is an invitation to leaders across education to operate as Multipliers, accessing and channeling the intelligence, talent, and creativity of the people around them.


Book Praise

“Everyone’s heard about legendary educators who turn struggling schools around. Is it the force of their personality? Sheer genius? Or does the secret of their success lie in their ability to unleash the genius in the people around them? The Multiplier Effect suggests that by changing the way you lead, you can amplify the intelligence, talent, and passion of your fellow teachers and together conquer the challenges today’s schools face. This is sure to be an energizing book for teachers and administrators at all levels of education.”

– Daniel H. Pink, Author of To Sell Is Human and Drive

“In 2010, Liz Wiseman introduced us to the term Multipliers – leaders who are truly genius makers.  The Multiplier Effect takes this concept from the corporate world to the classroom.  Educators at every level—classroom aides to superintendents—will be inspired to bring out the brilliance—the genius—in everyone around them. I urge you to read this book and let its fascinating ideas help you see that you, too, are a genius—and a genius maker.”

– Ken Blanchard, Coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level

“A fascinating book that shows how mindsets shape the way people lead. This book will forever change the way we think about leadership in our schools and the mindsets we need to tackle our biggest educational challenges.”

– Carol Dweck, Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, and Author of Mindset

The Multiplier Effect is a “must-read” for all educators seeking to unleash the genius that resides in every student that crosses the threshold of a schoolhouse door!”

– Bill Raabe, Senior Director, NEA Center for Great Public Schools

You cannot be an effective leader doing it by yourself. The Multiplier Effect gives you the tools you need to take on your biggest challenges by harnessing the capability of each staff member in your school.

– Frank DeAngelis, Principal, Columbine High School

The Multiplier Effect makes us rethink many of our assumptions about leadership.  The book is engaging, vivid and as practical as it is provocative.  To lead others you must be able to lead yourself.  The Multiplier Effect gives leaders and teachers useful tools to utilize the intelligence on their teams.”

– Stedman Graham, Author, speaker, entrepreneur

 “Finally a real book for leaders to read, digest, and actually use.  I cannot wait to use the specific exercises to promote the Multiplier Effect!”

– Molly Broderson, Elementary School Principal, Hayes, Virginia

“This provocative book is a must for school leaders. It provides clarity and insight into leadership and provides a framework to deliver strategy, improve working relationships, and boost individual leaders’ capacity and capability.  It is packed with real-world techniques for engaging people at all levels.  This is a timely contribution to the leadership debate when schools everywhere are facing the challenge of change.”

– Dame Pat Collarbone, Director, Creating Tomorrow

“The Multiplier concept is a powerful tool to develop and improve leaders both in business and across education, where we hear more about failure than we do about success. If educational leaders at every level read this book, we would hear more stories of successful educational outcomes.  This book belongs on the reading list of anyone wanting to become the kind of leader that makes people and organizations better.”

– Dean Gary Cornia, Marriott School of Management, Brigham Young University

“Educators are constantly looking for ways to do more with less. This book provides actionable steps that allow leaders to multiply the talents of their teachers while also fostering an exhilarating experience for staff and students alike.”

– Kendra Hanzlik, Elementary School Teacher-Strategist, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

“Dripping in rich storytelling and anecdotes, this book explores why our society, schools, and companies desperately need to embrace the power of Multipliers in order to unleash talent, allow others agency, and fully utilize dormant intelligence. If you are looking to learn new leadership techniques, take advantage of your potential, and understand how to add value to your life and work, The Multiplier Effect is for you.”

– Nikhil Goyal, Author, One Size Does Not Fit All and Forbes 30 under 30

“Do not lead or attempt to lead without reading this! It will open your eyes and change you.”

– Matthew Henry, CIO, LeTourneau University

“An educator’s role, by definition, is multiplying genius and developing future leaders.  This book is an instructional manual for educational leaders who want to ignite the genius in their schools.  The authors offer a thought provoking yet simple framework full of stories and clear principles that can be put to use immediately in an educational setting.”

– Prasad Kaipa, Executive Director Emeritus, Center for Leadership, Innovation and Change, Indian School of Business, and co-author Smart to Wise

“In our hierarchical world of academic medicine, moving to the Multiplier model of leadership could be the game changer.”

– Darrell Kirch, M.D., President and CEO, Association of American Medical College

The Multiplier Effect provides the secret sauce for what makes great teachers and leaders in education.  Chock full of engaging stories, extensive research and insightful “experiments”, this is a must read for anybody who cares about the future of society.  Creating a Multiplier effect in the education industry would be transformative.”

– Michael Moe, Founder, CEO of GSV Asset Management, Author, Finding the Next Starbucks and American Revolution 2.0–How Education Innovation is Going to Revitalize America and Transform the U.S. Economy

“The mindsets and practices of the Multiplier, and the Accidental Diminisher, translate readily to our education system.  Educators are in the Multiplier business – whether you are a superintendent, principal, board member, teacher, parent or student, you will find this book to be a compelling read and a toolkit for school and district-wide implementation.  I hope this book starts many Multiplier experiments.”

– Julie Wilson, Founder, Institute for the Future of Learning