The leader who had no title
Book by Robin Sharma A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in life
From The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari author comes an inspiring parable about the skills needed to excel in career and life.
For more than fifteen years, Robin Sharma has been quietly sharing with Fortune 500 companies and many of the super-rich a success formula that has made him one of the most sought-after leadership advisers in the world. Now, for the first time, Sharma makes his proprietary process available to you, so that you can get to your absolute best while helping your organization break through to a dramatically new level of winning in these wildly uncertain times.
In The Leader Who Had No Title, you will learn:
-How to work with and influence people like a superstar, regardless of your position
-A method to recognize and then seize opportunities in times of deep change
-The real secrets of intense innovation
-An instant strategy to build a great team and become a “merchant of wow“ with your customers
-Hard-hitting tactics to become mentally strong and physically tough enough to lead your field
-Real-world ways to defeat stress, build an unbeatable mind-set, unleash energy, and balance your personal life
Regardless of what you do within your organization and the current circumstances of your life, the single most important fact is that you have the power to show leadership. Wherever you are in your career or life, you should always play to your peak abilities. This book shows you how to claim that staggering power, as well as transform your life—and the world around you—in the process.
- Don’t judge a book by its cover
This idiom is more powerful than you think, and it takes years of practice to become perfect. We all have our own prejudices, and it seems to be human nature (or perhaps a flaw) when in a new situation or meeting new people to ‘sum them up’ based on their appearance, attire or other visual cues. But we can often get things very wrong, like the Swiss sales assistant who refused to show Oprah Winfrey, worth US$2.9bn according to Forbes, a bag because she felt it was too expensive. Likewise, when Blake first meets Tommy, he is thrown by his Albert Einstein-like appearance but once he gets to know him, he discovers that Tommy has a lot more substance and depth to him than he initially anticipated.
- Life is a continuous lesson
Tommy was Blake’s father’s friend and has insight into his life, which is why he adopts the role of mentor to Blake. Tommy shares this with Blake “getting lost along your path is a part of finding the path you’re meant to be on. Sometimes we need to get off track before we can develop the clarity to be on track”.
Often when we are in the immediacy of a situation we develop tunnel vision and can only see what is right in front of us without having the clarity of mind to absorb everything in context. But upon reflection and thorough evaluation of the situation (with an open mind), we can digest and assimilate the lessons from the experience(s) and learn and grow from it. Every person and experience we encounter is meant to teach us something about ourselves and enrich our lives, if we allow it to and are open to it. If we acknowledge this and constantly work at it, we will evolve and improve upon the person we were yesterday. Tommy also says to Blake that he’d like him to achieve world-class standards not only in his career but in his health, relationships and levels of happiness.
Treat everyone equally
A strong element in the book is about treating everyone equally, no matter what their position or status. I found this saying on Instagram that says, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”—Malcolm S. Forbes. This saying reaffirms the essence of what Robin Sharma conveys in the book. I’ve encountered people who have an inflated sense of ego and status and treat people that they feel are ‘beneath’ them in an undue manner. And if I loosely quote Maya Angelou, people will forget what you’ve said or done but will never forget how you made them feel. We should treat everyone with respect and humility regardless of how we perceive their influence on our lives. The title of the book “The leader who had no title” encapsulates this philosophy and Robin emphasised during the presentation and in the book that the CEO gets buried next to the Street sweeper. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive, what house you live in or how many zeros appear on our pay check, it all boils down to how you interact and treat your fellow beings.
You are a leader, right where you are! Nourish your principles to ensure success
The book reminds us about a set of principles that we need to apply to our lives and how through their application we will be truly exceptional leaders, no matter where and in what positions we are. Anyone can lead and each and every one of us has the power to show leadership. We don’t have to wait until we reach a certain level to be exceptional. All you need is a desire to be involved and the commitment to make a positive difference.
My leadership journey started a while back and many of my experiences and learnings were contextualised by the books that I read. From John Maxwell (The 360 degree leader) to Stephen Covey (Principled-centred leadership and The 3rd alternative), they all echo Robin’s sentiments, which speaks strongly about accountability and responsibility. Not waiting for someone else to do something because it’s not in your job description or doesn’t form part of what you think your role is. But rather, it is about getting things done and applying yourself to situations to positively affect an outcome.
“The only way any organisation – and any human being, for that matter – will win in these times of revolutionary change will be to start operating under a revolutionary new model of leadership. And this model is all about creating an environment and culture where everyone needs to show leadership.
- Everyone needs to drive innovation
- Everyone needs to inspire their teammates
- Everyone needs to embrace change
- Everyone needs to take responsibility for results
- Everyone needs to be positive
- Everyone needs to become devoted to expressing their absolute best.
“The highest of all human abilities is the ability each one of us has to choose how we respond to the environment we find ourselves within. And when each of us chooses peak performance and personal leadership, of course, the organisation itself gets to world-class speedily.And once they do, the organisation not only adapts beautifully to the changing conditions, it will actually lead within its field”.
- Continuously learn and grow
The book is peppered with useful insights, tips and advice on how to improve your life. It reminds you about things you already know and concepts you’ve come across before but I find that reading it reinforces these messages in a meaningful manner that stays with you even long after you’ve put the book down. It talks about gratitude, not to take things for granted and encourages you to stop worrying. Something that I’m sure we are all guilty of! It also stresses the importance of continuous self-education and learning through reading.
- The 5 ‘o clock club
At the presentation Robin introduced us to the concept of the 5 ‘o clock club. He said that in order to be your best self you had to continuously work on body, mind and spirit. He found that getting up at 5am, when the rest of the world is still in slumber, allows you to prepare for the day that lies ahead. He starts with 20 minutes of exercise to get the blood flowing and to cultivate a healthy body, then he reflects on his goals and what he wants to achieve for the next 20 mins and the last 20 mins he dedicates to improving his mind by reading and learning something new. He constantly challenges himself to be better than the person he was yesterday.
- Small steps over time generate big results
According to Robin, “small steps over time generate big results. And failure, on the other hand comes from a few daily acts of neglect that over time lead to disaster.” So if we want to experience the fulfilment of achieving our goals, we need to visualise it and work towards achieving them every, single day. According to Robin’s video on YouTube, he says that new research claims that it takes 66 days to install a new habit. So if you need to cultivate some good habits, you need to commit to working at it every day for 66 days.
- Commit yourself to mastery
“Master you craft” – whatever it is you do. Robin encourages readers to master their craft. You have to continuously learn about the subject you are passionate about. Everything evolves and we need to keep pace with the changes in our fields to ensure we remain relevant and informed.
I encourage you to read The leader who had no title to learn more about the other useful and game-changing ideas that Robin shares. You can benefit from Robin’s daily motivation and inspiration by following him via his website, on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.