Friday, August 26, 2011

MULTIPLIERS - How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

Much of what constitutes good leadership can be summarized in two words: respect and selflessness.

How we relate to those two words will determine how we lead.

Consider two assumptions that lie at the opposite ends of the spectrum:

  • Really intelligent people are a rare breed and I am one of the few really smart people. People will never be able to figure things out without me. I need to have all the answers.
  • Smart people are everywhere and will figure things out and get even smarter in the process. My job is to ask the right questions. 
NOTE:  Liz Wiseman, best selling Wall Street Journal author of this book, has been kind enough to autograph nearly 30 copies of her book for leaders in the Information Warfare officer community.  Some of our CO's have received personal letters from Liz encouraging them to take the time to read the book and assess their place on the leadership spectrum (somewhere between Multiplier and Diminisher).  If you'd like a copy of Liz's book, please let me know and we'll do our best to get you a copy.  RADM Andy Singer is working with Liz to evaluate whether her book might become a part of the curriculum for the IDC's Senior Leadership Seminar at the Naval Postgraduate School


Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

I received the note below via e-mail last night.

Thank you Mike. I admire your unwavering commitment to an idea!

We just got an email from Captain Roger Brett Hoyt asking if I was available on Sept 14 to come speak for a bit at the upcoming Information Dominance Senior Leadership Symposium in Monterey, so that is terrific news. I'm thrilled to be able to share the Multipliers message with the Navy. I'll keep you posted on any progress on this front.

It looks like your efforts are taking some root!


Liz Wiseman, President, The Wiseman Group
650.854.3544 (office) | 650.867.4750 (mobile) |

Anonymous said...

It is sad that the leadership feels compelled to go outside of the community, Navy and even DOD for someone to teach them basic leadership. Are the ideas of Liz Wiseman revolutionary? Of course not. Are they a blinding flash of the obvious to some? Unfortunately.

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

Anon @ 07:34AM

It's not sad at all. We routinely use non-Navy resources to educate ourselves and our people. Liz isn't teaching basic leadership. She's done some fairly extensive research across a broad spectrum of business leaders. She will learn a great deal about the Navy and Navy leadership in her interactions with some of the senior IDC leaders and bring some of those lessons to her body of knowledge. Having helped facilitate this, I am biased in my thinking and believe it to be a good idea. Nothing to fear here. Lots of learning going on. Don't be sad. Tell me who you are and I'll send you a copy of her book. It's a good one.

Anonymous said...

No need to send a copy. I have one. It is helpful that she puts labels on various styles, but still, just like in Good to Great, which is also a good leadership book, many if not all the elements should be second nature to anyone who has attempted to be a good leader throughout their career. The problem is, and you know this, if you've been in leadership positions for 20+ years and you need an outsider to tell you what you should have already learned as a leader, it is SAD. We have both seen officers in leadership position who are not leaders. If they will listen to her, great, but figure the odds.

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

Anon @ 08:49AM

She's interested in helping people and I like that a lot. If she can reach 2 people in the class, that is success. I have found that a 10% return on investment in helping Naval officers is about the best one can expect. You can hope for more but 10% return is extraordinary. I barely get that response rate. You've got to manage your expectations.

Van Bruaene said...


I read your blog regularly and I'd like to thank you for your hard work keeping it going. As a new Ensign in the IW community, I'd love the opportunity to read the book as I've heard the title thrown around from multiple higher-ups in the community.


Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...


Send me your address in an e-mail to I'll send you a copy right away.