Posted in Bookish

The Leader Who Had No Title

Title:  The Leader Who Had No Title

Author: Robin Sharma

Author Nationality: Canadian-Mauritian


Publisher: Free Press

Year Published/ Release:  March 2010

Pages:  224

Book Version:  Paperback


The story is told through the eyes of Blake Davies, a war veteran who has lost meaning in life after returning home. Blake secures a job at a bookstore and here his journey starts. He meets four people that represent the key principles of leadership. It is a business fable whose focus is on self-leadership. The author emphasizes that you do not need a title to take on leadership.

Key Insights:

  1. Leaders are those individuals who do the things that failures aren’t willing to do–even though they might not like doing them either.
  2. Too many people go to work with the mindset that to be a leader they need to work their way up the company ladder, get the title or position they seek, and then they can be leaders which is a wrong approach. Regardless of your position, you can be a leader.
  3. Turbulent times build great leaders: Business and life are unpredictable, expect turbulence.challenging times in business and life give us the opportunities to learn and transform ourselves from a mess into a long term success. Persist until you succeed. Problems are good because they stretch you, embrace the chaos, welcome the danger, and take intelligent risks.
  4. The deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership: the time you spend, deepening your relationships, will eventually pay off. The people you cross paths with should be better, happier, and more engaged than you found them. Be good to people because it is the right thing to do.
  5. Work on yourself first by becoming a great person, then you will become a great leader. “Work really hard on yourself so that all the buried treasure slumbering deep within you begins to reveal itself to every element of the world around you, “The key is to learn how to lead yourself because the more self-aware we are, the more likely we are to grow and help others.
  6. Too often, we become complacent about our situation and feel that there is nothing we can do about it. We are all capable of change, even though we may not be able to change others, we can change ourselves.
  7. Leaders and those who are successful cultivate and nurture a lot of time to themselves to focus on change and growth and to focus on their vision.
  8. We should put our prejudices and biases aside, especially when we first meet new people and situations. There is a tendency to “sum them up”, instead we should focus on getting to know the person or situation better in order to gain depth.
  9. Life involves continuous learning and lessons: every person and experience we encounter is meant to teach us something, so we need to keep an open mind. Sometimes we get lost focusing on the wrong things, but upon reflection and deeper evaluation, we can pick the lessons and gain more wisdom. It is also important to learn through reading.
  10. People will forget what you said, they will forget what you have done but will never forget how you made them feel. It is important to treat people with respect, courtesy, and humility irrespective of how we perceive their influence on our lives.
  11. Practice leadership from where you are. You are a leader right where you are; incorporate accountability and responsibility. Do not wait for somebody else to do something simply because it is not part of your job description. Focus on getting things done and how you can make yourself applicable to the situation for a positive outcome.
  12. Create 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.
  13. Wake up early, to prepare for the day that lies ahead and be your best self.
  14. Small steps over time will generate big results and failure, on the other hand, comes from a dew daily acts of neglect that over time lead to disaster. Take those small steps every day.
  15. Take time to master your craft. You have to continuously learn about your craft, it is how you become great at it. Leaders are always improving and raising their bar.

My take:

Every good thing takes time to grow and happen. Consistency, commitment, responsibility, and accountability must be part of your daily life.

Be intentional about your relationships because they are an important part of life.

Leadership is everywhere, take your pick and shine.

Memorable Quote (s):

“We all need to lead where we are planted and shine where we find ourselves … And regardless of whether you have a formal title or not, you have total control of how you show up in your current role. The highest of human abilities is the ability each one of us has to choose how we respond to the environment we find ourselves in. And when each of us chooses peak performance and personal leadership, the organization itself gets to world-class speedily.”

“I could come up with a million reasons to be discouraged, dissatisfied, and disengaged with my job. I could complain that ‘I’m just a housekeeper’ and that all I do each day is clean the hotel rooms of people with lots of money. But one of the greatest freedoms each of us has as people is the freedom to choose how we view our roles in the world and the power we all have to make positive decisions in whatever conditions we happen to find ourselves.

This is a good book, anyone can be a leader, anyone can develop personal mastery.

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