Winter 2011

 

Featuring an appealing foreword by Stephen R. Covey, Multipliers, How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, by Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown, seemed sure to be a good bet, and it was. Multipliers is a very practical, well written leadership book that describes two types of high-level managers that are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Diminishers, drain intelligence by overwhelming everyone with their own sense of greatness and diminishing everyone else’s talent; while Multipliers look for talent and genius, and utilize people to their fullest. By analyzing data from more than 150 leaders, the authors identified and developed five disciplines that distinguish Multipliers. The case studies and real-life examples in the book are fascinating and make for a good read. Most importantly, the book lays out a path for readers to become Multipliers, even if they possess Diminisher tendencies. Their research indicates that employees give two times more to Multipliers than they give to Diminishers. And, when employees give more, they get a more richly satisfying experience.

Slightly reminiscent of Malcolm Gladwell (which to me is a good thing), Cognitive Surplus Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky is an interesting commentary and analysis on the confluence of the Internet and society. Our “cognitive surplus,” a wonderfully optimistic term for the free time we use on new media instead of watching Desperate Housewives explores the novel resource and how society can take advantage of it. Sites like CouchSurfing.org and PickupPal.com are innovative, even to a keyboarder like me, who thinks she’s seen almost everything the Internet has to offer, and who thinks a good time is to spend Friday night at an App Party.

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