The book speaks to two types of leaders: Multipliers and Diminishers and the five disciplines that each have. These are continuums that we move along.
- The Empire Builder (Diminisher) to The Talent Manager (Multiplier)
- The Tyrant (Diminisher) to The Liberator (Multiplier)
- The Know-It-All (Diminisher) to The Challenger (Multiplier)
- The Decision Maker (Diminsher) to The Debate Maker (Multiplier)
- The Micro-Manager (Diminisher) to The Inventor (Multiplier)
The book also talks about the "accidental diminisher" which is what I found most valuable as it is an opportunity to step back and look at the things that might be done as a way of "helping" but in the end it is a way of stopping progress/movement. This is a particular challenge for me as I move from teaching in a self contained classroom to having to "hand over" my students to general education classrooms. Staying too involved and helping too much can take on diminisher effects. We aren't looking to just move what we did in the self contained classroom to the general education classroom which means that the disciplines of a multiplier take on an even larger significance.
As the book moved through each of the disciplines it becomes evident that we are all going to have areas of strength and areas of weakness. The suggestion at the end of the book in regards to moving towards being more of a diminisher was to find which discipline is your largest strength and to grow that at the same time as ensuring your biggest discipline is neutralized. Don't focus on bringing you lowest area up to the top as you will probably not be strong in all five areas - you just want to ensure that one area doesn't do harm.