Liz Wiseman and the Multiplier Effect

Post by Laura Turner

“When you lead like a multiplier, people around you get smarter because they are working with you.”

Multipliers, as Liz Wiseman’s book is called, use their intelligence to amplify and grow the intelligence of others. Wiseman is the president of The Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm that has identified the importance of the amplifying effect of leaders on their teams.

Wangari Maathai began working with a small group of women in her  village in Kenya. She saw the devastating effects of deforestation in her area and, starting with seven seedlings, founded the Green Belt Movement that has planted over 51 million trees in Kenya since 1970.

Someone said of KR Sridhar that he created a cultural environment with lots of pressure but no stress. To illustrate this distinction, Wiseman took an apple and placed it on the shiny head of a man in the audience, another man posing as an imaginary William Tell.

“Which one is feeling stress?” Wiseman asked.

Tell’s son. The apple-holder. He had no control. Tell was the one under pressure; the result of this experiment depended on his input. But he had some control–he could have an influence on the outcome. His son could not.

Pressure, Wiseman reminds us, is good. Pressure helps us get the job done. Stress renders us powerless.

Wiseman talks about people in the workplace as either diminishers or multipliers. The difference here is simply that multipliers believe that other people are smart and diminishers believe that nothing can be done without them. People who fall into the “diminisher” category micromanage, are controlling, did not listen or delegate, and were selfish. The “multipliers” had vision, communicated clearly, trusted and empowered their employees. And in the surveys done by Wiseman with folks from the Willow Creek Association, we saw that, when working with a diminisher, their employees got an average of 43% of a person’s capability. Multipliers? 91%.

The diminishers spend a lot of time running around trying to get buy-in for decisions they’ve already made. The multipliers ask people to weigh in, ask for counsel–and this builds in the process of buy-in very naturally.

What do you do when you believe people are smart and will figure things out? Multipliers invite people into the difficult and the challenging; they debate and work hard to figure things out, but they create owners, not hirelings. Working for diminishers, people said they were exhausted and frustrated. Working for multipliers, people said they were exhausted and exhilarated.

A lot of us fall into the realm of being “accidental diminishers.” We have a diminishing effect without knowing it, and even despite having good intentions. “Is it possible,” she asked, “that we do our greatest damage when we hold our most noble intentions?”

There are, Wiseman pointed out, several kinds of diminshers who tend to look pretty great to outsiders–The Optimist, the Idea Guy, the Always-On Leader, the Pace Setter, and so on. These people may not be aware at all of their diminishing effect, but they are not concerned with defining reality, they are concerned with saying the right things and achieving their goals and spreading their own, small, personal gospel.

So on a small scale, Wiseman took this lesson home. She was describing her kid’s bedtime routine to a colleague, and found herself frustrated by how much she was telling her kids what to do. “Well,” said her colleague, “what if you went home tonight and only spoke to them in the form of questions?” So, she did.

“Who’s ready for dinner tonight?” She asked.

“What do we do after dinner?”

“Put away our food!” the kids yelled.

“Who needs help putting on pajamas?”

The two year-old did. The other kids helped themselves.

“What do we do after we read our books?”

“We pray!”

And on and on until they were in bed and she had left them there without one directive. After three nights of this, Wiseman began to wonder if this wouldn’t be a helpful technique with her management team. Where she had been diminishing, she could now multiply.

About Laura Turner: Laura Turner is a writer and editor living in San Francisco. In addition to being a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s “Her.meneutics” blog, she has also written for publications such as Books & Culture and The Bold Italic. She is interested in the intersection of church and culture.

Focus on “Followership”: The Secret To Great Leadership

Post by Denise Barreto

Retired General Colin Powell shook up the WCA Global Leadership Summit today by challenging leaders to focus on a little talked about aspect of leadership – the importance of “followership.”"You are nowhere without followers who want to follow you,” were his exact words. General Powell went on to make three quick points to drive home the importance of great leaders focusing on followership as the secret sauce to solid leadership.

I’m Not Getting The Work Done

Any good leader recognizes that they need their people to get their vision converted to action. But a great leader understands that the work itself is done by his/her followers. Great leaders make no illusions and they recognize and empower their people to the work thy are charged with doing.

Everyone Has A Purpose

Great leaders understand that every person in the organization they lead, no matter the role, is important. Just as an organization has its purpose, so does each individual contributor. It is a great leader who can draw the purpose of each person on their team and ensure they know it.

It’s Always About The Followers

Our leadership depends on our followers. No ifs ands or buts – without followers, you are not a leader. So, everything you do as a leader should be about your followers. You must figure out how to build an environment where your followers flourish. You must figure out how to empower every person you lead to get you closer to your organization’s goals and objectives.

As we seek to grow as leaders, we’d all bode well to follow in the footsteps of retired General Colin Powell and take time, often, to focus on our followers. Build up our followers as a means of strengthening your leadership.

About Denise Barreto: Accidental entrepreneur, author and TEDx speaker Denise W. Barreto brings a fresh marketplace perspective to the WCA GLS team this year. A seasoned corporate strategist with over 20 years of marketing experience across multiple industries, Denise is the founder and managing partner of Relationships Matter Now, LLC, a boutique strategic business and marketing consultant firm.

Patrick Lencioni and Drive-Thru Laughter

Post by Laura Turner

Patrick Lencioni came to stage, disarmingly charming as usual. He talks in rapid-fire sentences about his minute attention span and his Evangelical Catholicism (fascinating!) and entertained questions from the audience. Much of this talk comes from his fantastic book, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job.

After college, Lencioni was recruited by a huge management consulting firm. It was, he admits now, miserable. He was ignored, out of the loop, and unable to assess where he stood.

People don’t leave jobs, on average, because they are tired or stressed. People leave their jobs because they’re miserable. Without further ado, the three signs of a miserable job:

1. Anonymity. On a client visit, Lencioni’s boss effectively quenched his enthusiasm for the job by telling him not to say anything to the client. “You carry my briefcase. You’re my monkey,” his boss told him. He talked about a friend of his who, on returning from maternity leave, was not asked a single question by her boss about her pregnancy or her child. When we lose our sense of efficacy and belonging, we lose the enthusiasm that carried us to this place in the beginning.

“Good people don’t leave jobs where they’re known.”

A colleague of Lencioni’s at the management consulting firm, at his exit interview, was asked, “What could we have done to keep you?”

“Anything,” his colleague replied.

Knowing the people around you is free and powerful and the most damaging thing not to do.

2. Irrelevance. “If you don’t think your job makes someone’s life better in some way, you cannot love your work.” If God gave us a desire to love others and if we spend most of our days working and if our work does not involve loving people, you will feel consistently disconnected from yourself and from God. To be relevant is to have a reason for doing what you do, and the job of a leader is to help employees find that reason.

3. Immeasurement. (This, as you probably know, is not an actual word.) We need to know how to measure our success, and it makes us happier to see it. An athlete needs to know their time or distance or speed; a waiter needs to know his hard work has been recognized in the form of a tip. The feedback may need to be daily, and it may not. It may be a metric, and it may not. 

Quantitative assessment can be helpful. It’s necessary to many industries and many jobs, to be sure, but so is qualitative measurement. We can end up measuring the wrong things. Lencioni talks about a guy who worked at a drive-through restaurant. His manager asked him what he could notice to measure his success.

“The number of people who drive through?”

“Well, do you have any control over that?”

“Oh, no. I guess not. Maybe how fast it takes the food to get here?”

“Well, that’s the kitchen.”

“Right. Um, okay. How about making people laugh?”

So that was his metric. The teenage guy at the drive through made people laugh, measured his days in laughter, succeeded in laughter. And he was glad for this.

We can’t be Christ-like servant leaders if we don’t help people connect the reason they work with how they work. Management, Lencioni reminds us, is also a ministry.

About Laura Turner: Laura Turner is a writer and editor living in San Francisco. In addition to being a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s “Her.meneutics” blog, she has also written for publications such as Books & Culture and The Bold Italic. She is interested in the intersection of church and culture.

Notes from Session 1 with Bill Hybels

Post by Tommy Bowman

1. Courageous leadership demands a nonstop flow of fortitude until your dying day. 

  • As leaders our primary responsibility is to move people from here to there.
  • We must lead people to become discontent with where we are.

2. Courageous leadership requires you to admit your current reality.

  • Don’t be afraid to admit the current reality to your team…they already know.
  • Movement starts when you ruthlessly admit your current reality.

3. Courageous leadership requires you build a fantastic culture.

  • As Lencioni preaches, organizational health is your greatest advantage.
  • Willow Creek has been using Better Christian Workplaces to improve Willow’s culture and health.
  • “People join organizations. People leave managers.”
  • People are either Culture Builders or Culture Busters.

4. Courageous leadership requires the establishment of values.

  • Invaluable values creep into your organization.
  • We must have the courage to eliminate them and build new values.

My One Takeaway:

The word fortitude is staying with me. Fortitude is courage in pain or adversity. Hybels reminded the christian leader that “visions are holy commodities” and we have to stand before God one day. Every vision will test the medal of a leader.

My One Application:

This is timely for me. In fact, Bill announced a few weeks back that he was opening the Summit with this topic and I’ve been anxiously awaiting today. This week I have begun to speak out loud a vision that God gave me 9 months ago. I have also admitted to people close to me about how scared I have been about this vision. As Bill urged, I will not abort this vision secretly.

My One Question:

What is the vision that God has given you that is requiring courage to even speak out loud? Perhaps you can speak it out loud for the first time here at the Global Leadership Summit. Find someone and tell them! Leave a comment with your vision. Begin to prayer Joshua 1:9 into your vision!

About Tommy Bowman: Tommy is the Directional Leader at Mission Church in the suburbs of Chicago. Tommy’s passion is to take proven leadership values and principles from the business world and implement them into the world of church and church teams.

4 Ways to Engage with the Summit

The Global Leadership Summit launches tomorrow morning reaching over 75,000 people around the U.S.  As you and your teams are preparing your hearts and minds for the Summit, our team has been prepping for your arrival in hopes to enhance your experience.

  1. Download the App and interact with attendees. Learn more about it here.
  2. Have a question for one of the Summit speakers? Use #wcaglsQ to send in your questions via social media and we will ask the speakers to respond during our backstage interviews.
  3. Participate in the polls. On the App be sure to fill out the polls in the Experience section. Each poll will be incorporated into the speakers session.
  4. Taking photos during the Summit? There are 235+ Host Sites around the U.S. experiencing the Summit. Use #wcagls so others can find and view them as well!

We’re honored that you’ve chosen to spend these 2 days with us, and we are excited about the limitless possibilities of what God will do over these next few days.

The Summit App is Available!

Launched this week, The Global Leadership Summit App is now available on iOS and Android.

We are very excited about the features and abilities provided through the app.

  • Take and share notes
  • View the schedule
  • Register for 2014
  • Purchase Exclusive Summit Resources
  • Connect and Message attendees at your site
You can download the apps here:


Or, here are a few things to know if searching for an iOS device:
  • Be sure to search in iTunes under iPhone Apps.
  • If you are updating last years iOS app, the new content will be reflected after the update
  • The app was not created for iPad format, but is downloadable on iPad if downloaded as an iPhone App.
  • When searching for the iPhone App, search “The Global Leadership Summit” for it to be the first app option.

A BIG thank-you to Charles Lee and Pathos Ethos for creating The Global Leadership Summit App. 

The Multiplier Effect

Post from The Wiseman Group

By extracting people’s full capability,

Multipliers get twice the performance from their team. 

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 always needs to be the smartest person 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. When these leaders walk into a room, light bulbs go off over people’s heads; ideas flow and problems get solved. These are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. These are the Multipliers. And the world needs more of them, especially now when leaders are expected to do more with less.

If you are going to be at the Summit 2013, Liz Wiseman will dig into the idea of “The Multiplier Effect.” Take a few minutes to:

Read about the Multipliers Model

Take the Multipliers Quiz

And find out…Are you a multiplier or a diminisher? 

Liz Wiseman is President of The Wiseman Group, Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Leadership and Strategy Consultant, and 2013 Summit Faculty Member. See her at The Global Leadership Summit, August 8-9.

10 Quotes That Should Shape Your Leadership

Re-post by Tony Morgan

Here are my top 10 leadership quotes from The Global Leadership Summit 2012.

  1. “An organization is not truly great if it can’t be great without you.” –Jim Collins
  2. “Too often we argue about Christianity instead of marveling at Jesus.” –John Ortberg
  3. “Don’t just delegate tasks to the next generation. If you delegate tasks, you create followers. Instead delegate authority to create leaders.” –Craig Groeschel
  4. “You are the most difficult person you will ever lead.” –Bill Hybels
  5. “The signature of mediocrity is not unwillingness to change. The true signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency.” –Jim Collins
  6. “People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.” –Patrick Lencioni
  7. “When you are angry, you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” –William Ury
  8. “When you’re in a position of authority, you need truth-tellers around you.” –Condoleezza Rice
  9. “I failed him for two years because I was too chicken to have the difficult conversation.” –Bill Hybels
  10. “The morale failure of a leader will challenge the integrity of others as well.” –Mario Vega

In case you missed these, here are all my notes from last year’s Summit.

What were your favorite quotes?

The Global Leadership Summit 2013 launches August 8-9, just two weeks away. Find out more information here

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of He’s a consultant, leadership coach and writer who helps churches get unstuck and have a bigger impact.