Leadership Book Review: How The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

Welcome to the series of reviews of leadership books! Time is money that is why I start with a summary and give you details later.


by Liz Wiseman


I was looking for years for this book. I wanted to know how to create leaders not followers. Now I know how. This book stays on my desk as inspiration and daily reminder not to slide into being an Accidental Diminisher.


1) This is not a bla-bla book. It is based on research and experiments

2) “Multipliers invoke each person’s unique intelligence and create an atmosphere of genius – innovation, productive effort, and collective intelligence.”

3) “The Diminisher’s view of intelligence is based on elitism and scarcity.” Diminishers assume that they have rare intelligence and others never will figure things out without them.

4) “Accidental Diminisher – managers with the best of intentions, good people who think they are doing a good job leading.” The ways you might be shutting down the good ideas of other people: by being Idea Fountain, Always On, Rescuer, Pacesetter, Rapid Responder, Optimist, Protector, Strategist, Perfectionist. First three are my mentality. I truly believe that by generating ideas, my enthusiasmus will ignite others as well. I did not want to see that by being Always On Idea Fountain others learn not to generate ideas at all, because I will have plenty anyway. And if not, I will Rescue them.

5) Chapter “Dealing With Diminishers” was a true eye opener for me. I realised that I have used every single tactic mentioned in the book and can confirm that they do not work. When I was reading part of “The Death Spiral” I went through all those bad feelings which I had with my last Diminisher boss. Quitting was the only answer for me. Read the book for other strategies.

6) My favourite chapter “Becoming A Multiplier” and appendix with a bunch of experiments and thought provoking questions e.g. “How long does it take to develop a reputation as “the boss to work for”?” and “10 Practices To Build A Multiplier Culture”

7) Special sympathy from me that most of the examples come from IT companies.