We are all called to lead in our role, no matter what our official title is. Because leadership skills are in such high demand, you’ve probably asked yourself what the ingredients of a great leader are.

In their book “Multipliers”, Liz Wiseman and Greg Mckeown analyzed data from over 150 leaders. From their data, they noticed two distinct categories of leaders: Multipliers and Diminishers.

They categorized Multipliers as those who are able to get the most out of people. A Diminisher, on the other hand, is a leader who underutilizes their team’s talent or fills team members with self-doubt.

Wiseman and McKeown’s study found Multiplier teams had nearly two-times more production and capability than the teams of Diminisher leaders. That’s a lot of additional productivity!

Surprisingly, Diminishers and Multipliers overlapped in many ways. They were both customer driven. Both had strong business acumen and market knowledge. They also shared a passion for their areas of expertise.

However, there were five disciplines that distinguished the Multipliers from the Diminishers.

The chart below shows some key differences.







No one wants to intentionally be a Diminisher as a leader.

In most cases, Diminishers don’t even realize they are Diminishers. They simply have a faulty view of leadership, and no one has cared enough to share with them some hard truths about how they impact others.

So, how does someone become a Diminisher?

To understand, you first need to recognize there are two aspects to being a healthy Multiplying Leader.

First, there is what’s happening inwardly. Multipliers have a deeply-seeded sense of security that allows others to thrive. They’ve matured enough to let go of their ego and share the spotlight with others. They’re open to the opinions of team members and give credit where it’s due. There’s healthy ambition, yet there are core values that direct that ambition toward ethical behavior. They have the mentality of a coach — constantly asking, how do I get the best out of my team?

In most cases, when someone begins to demonstrate the characteristics of a Diminisher, it’s driven by an inner fear.

Maybe it’s a fear of failure. Maybe it’s a fear that, if he doesn’t have all the answers, he will lose the respect of the team. Perhaps she fears losing control. This concern manifests itself as constant criticism, controlling behavior or unhealthy pressure.

A sound inner life is critical for a healthy Multiplying Leader.

Being a Multiplying Leader involves the practical tools necessary to develop others effectively.

They know the “why”, the “what” and the “how” behind what they do.
They also know how to take that information and help others execute and own their responsibilities. Diminishing Leaders, on the other hand, often neglect to ask these questions. Not knowing the why, what or how behind actions make it difficult to act and mentor with purpose.

When you combine a healthy inner life with the right skills, you have a powerful combination. It’s critical to examine both sides of that coin in your own life.

We want you to be a Multiplying Leader. We fully believe it’s the most strategic way to have a positive impact on your family, your team, your organization and the world. We also believe it’s the best way to get powerful results on a consistent basis.

To help harness the power of multiplication in a positive way, we want to introduce you to the four levels of a Multiplying Leader.

Four Levels of a Multiplying Leader

Level 1: EXECUTE

As a Level 1 Multiplier, you know how to execute an action, attitude or process that will positively impact your life or allow you to do your job well. This may be at work or in your personal life.

You may not understand all the “whys” and “hows” behind what you are doing, but you see these small, daily actions make a significant difference.

An example would be hiring a personal trainer and following their directions about eating properly and working out. You may not understand how all the pieces fit together, but you are executing what you are asked and beginning to see changes in your life.

As a child, your parents got you into the habit of brushing your teeth. You didn’t know why they wanted you to brush, but you just did it because they were your parents. Ultimately, it was the beginning of a lifelong, healthy habit.

In a job, an example would be learning the ins and outs of what to do and executing those tasks well, even though the big picture may still be eluding you.

Level 1 is about execution.

Level 2: OWN

As a Level 2 Multiplier, you understand and own the “whys” behind what you do. In other words, you don’t simply execute a job role or a workout routine because someone told you to. You truly understand the why behind what you are doing.

You don’t just do it. You own it.
You understand why you follow certain processes at work, how it impacts the business and why it’s a big deal. In your personal life, you understand the impact small, daily, intentional decisions can have over time and harness that power personally.

As you grow, you want this ownership to spill over into all areas of life: your health, relationships, finances, spiritual life and personal development. You can move from execution to ownership in each of these areas. It will take time and work, but it’s very attainable.

So, Level 2 is when the light bulb comes on, the game slows down and you see the big picture.

You own it.

Level 3: DEVELOP

Level 3 involves taking what you know — the how and the why of something — and moving that knowledge to others. At this level, you learn how to stretch and maximize the talents of those around you.

You multiply the effort your team members are willing to give because of the way you engage, care and lead.

You don’t simply help others stretch their capacity. You help them increase it by teaching them to harness the power of multiplication in their own lives. You assist others in executing and owning their responsibilities.

At this point, you’ve learned how to think for others and strategically move them forward in their roles.

Organizations love developers because, when they are in the room, they seem to get more out of everyone since they can effectively teach others the “how” and the “why” of what they do.


Level 4 is where truly great leaders live. When you get to level four, you intentionally multiply yourself into others and teach them to do the same.

Level 4 Multipliers not only help those under them multiply their efforts and maximize results, they understand how to strategically create other leaders who then know how to create other leaders.

This is how you create a true movement of leadership.

This type of leader’s influence doesn’t stop with them or the people they lead. It continues on because they pass on, not only skills, but the principles, vision and strategic thinking too. These attributes allow other leaders to lead with intent and purpose, even though they may have never had direct contact with the original Level 4 leader.

Being Level 4 is the difference between being a personal trainer who helps his clients maintain healthy living and training other trainers to do the same thing. The result will impact people whom the original trainer may never even meet.

Few individuals get to this level of leadership.

True Multiplying Leaders seek to have a healthy inner life and also build their ability to execute, own, reproduce and develop.

Who can you reach out to this week who can help you grow as a Multiplying Leader?

Justin Harris