Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Review By Prof.M.S.Rao “The Leader Who Had No Title” Authored By Robin Sharma

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, “Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I have read the book titled ‘The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life’ (Jaico Publishers) by Robin Sharma, the life leadership specialist and who needs no introduction. The entire book maintains conversational tone with valuable takeaways as the way it happens in the book ‘One Minute Manager’.

The book helps you deliver your best regardless of your hierarchical position. It helps you unlock your hidden talents and leverage the same. It helps you to seize the opportunities. Everybody is a leader from pauper to prince and from peon to principal provided they deliver their best unmindful of their title and designation. It helps you unleash your inner energy and blend and balance your personal and professional life.

Some leaders are over conscious of their leadership titles such as Dean, CEO, Senior Manager, and Managing Directors and so on. Leadership is a behaviour that anyone can demonstrate at any time without having any organizational or hierarchical position or title. In fact, we all are leaders at some journey of our lives where we rise to the occasion and demonstrate our hidden talents and potential. Leadership does not go by rank, position or by title. Leadership is not the privilege of a few individuals.

The book preludes with “each of us is born into genius. Sadly, most of us die amid mediocrity.” Let us look at few acronyms first from the book.

Few Acronyms:

Robin Sharma unfolds several acronyms in the book such as LWT – leadership without title, SEW – seriously exceptional work, BIW – best in the world, IMAGE – innovation, mastery, authenticity, guts and ethics, SHINE – See clearly, Health is wealth, Inspiration matters, Neglect not your family, Elevate your lifestyle, HUMAN – Helpfulness, Understanding, Mingle, Amuse and Nurture, KMF - Keep Moving Forward and SPARK – Speak with Candor, Prioritize, Adversity Breeds Opportunity, Respond Versus React, Kudos for Everyone.

Great Quotes from Book:

“Authenticity is about being true to who you are, even when everyone around you wants you to be someone else” - Michael Jordan.

“Money, influence, and position are nothing compared with brains, principles, energy, and perseverance.” – Orison Swett Marden

“I will persist until I succeed. I was not delivered into this world into defeat, nor does failure course my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion, and I refuse to talk, walk, and to sleep with the sheep. I will persist until I succeed.” – Og Mandino

“A mind once exposed to new idea never regains its original dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

The fear you move through when you go to the edge of your limits actually causes your limits to expand. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” - Nietzsche

“If everyone was satisfied with themselves, there would be no heroes.” – Mark Twain

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or to get all the credit for doing it.” – Andrew Carnegie

“One cannot do right in life whilst occupied in doing wrong in another area. Life is one indivisible whole. Your personal life always spills into your work life and vice versa.” - Gandhi

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.” - Seneca, Philosopher

“Jealousy is the attribute that mediocrity pays to genius” - Fulton Sheen

“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world” - Helen Keller.

What Does Robin Sharma Say?

• In this materialistic world, we chase titles, fast cars, and big bank accounts in a search for greatness when, in truth, all that we really want we already have. The excellence and the happiness we crave are inside of us.
• Success is created through the performance of a few small daily disciplines that stack up over time to produce achievements far beyond anything you could have ever planner for.
• Failure is nothing more than the inevitable outcome of a few small acts of daily neglect performed consistently over time so that they take you past the point of no return.
• By infusing leadership into everything you do and each thing you touch, you can live remarkably. You truly can realize your original genius. You really can be one of the great ones.
• ‘Lucky breaks’ are nothing more than unexpected rewards for intelligent choices we’ve chosen to make. Success doesn’t just happen because someone’s stars line up. Success, both in business and personally, is something that’s consciously created.
• No one’s unimportant. There are no extra people alive today. Every person and every job matters, and all work can be made meaningful with the Lead Without a Title philosophy.
• Innovation always trumps repeating what might have worked in the past. Innovation sounds complex, but it really is simply about consistently. Without innovation, life is death. And only the brave will survive these days.
• Small daily improvements – over time – lead to stunning results. It is known as ‘Multiplier Effect’.
• Work offers you a daily platform to discover the leader within. It’s a chance, every day, to reclaim more of the potential you’ve buried and to awaken the dormant relationship between the current you and your absolute best. It’s an opportunity to express more of your latent creativity and a whole lot more of your precious humanity.
• No matter what your position within any organization and no matter how old you are or where you live throughout the world, you have the power to show leadership. And no one and nothing can ever deny you that.
• Anyone can be a star when the economy is strong, the competition is weak, and your customers are loyal. Difficult times are the ones that reveal what you’re made of – and what kind of a leader you actually are.
• Most people hide in their shells when the going gets tough. They will never know how high they can climb if they don’t even try. In fact, hard times are the best opportunities to show leadership. The more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the wider it grows.
• Be patient with the process of change. Change is always messiest in the middle. To master change, you absolutely must be persistent and have patience.
• An organization that has a culture where everyone’s afraid to speak candidly is a place where people live amid delusion and fantasy.
• Leaders without a title are truly impeccable with the words they use. They don’t gossip. They don’t complain. They don’t condemn. And they never swear.
• Leadership is about knowing very little about most things and a staggering amount about a few things.
• Crises contain exceptional opportunity. Remember that the strongest and most powerful of leaders were all built by struggle and setback. Please understand that without having walked through the valley of darkness, you just might find that reaching the mountaintop is a hollow victory.
• One of my personal commitments is to be surrounded with only good, passionate, and positive people who make me feel happy.
• Anyway, what I’m really suggesting is that you really must treat people exceptionally well if you are really serious about reaching your highest potential in business.
• Leading by example is one of the most powerful tools for positively influencing change in other people.
• If you’re really serious about winning in business, become a walking, talking, living, breathing hub radiating positive energy, excellence, and kindness to every person you are fortunate enough to help.
• Deep listening is one of the bravest – and rarest – of all of the central acts of real leadership.
• Having fun while you do great work will help you boost your productivity.
• You can’t energize anyone around you if you have no energy yourself. And it’s not really possible to make others feel good about themselves until you’re feeling really good yourself.
• Lead yourself first. Only then will you get to a place as a person where you can lead other people.
• Self-leadership has so much to do with simply reconnecting to the person you once were – to your true nature.
• Greatness is an inner event with outer consequences. Once you awaken your inner leader, worldly success is the guaranteed result.
• Every one of us has a natural tendency to see through our blind spots and limiting beliefs. Often we see situations through eyes of fear versus through the lenses of opportunity.
• Real leadership involves breaking through the limits of your mind so you can step into the highest strengths of your spirit.
• We never act in a way that is inconsistent with the way we see ourselves.
• Take care of people and the money will take care of itself. Help people get to their goals, and people will help you get every single one of yours. Make the people you do business with super successful, and they’ll be sure to make you super successful. People are really the most important element to a winning business. Care for them. Nurture them. Water them. Give the best you have to give them.


“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he was imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

• Leadership is about leveraging hard times and using them to your advantage.
• Leadership is about correcting and criticizing others when they are doing things wrong.
• The secret to moving through hard times is to just keep moving forward.
• Great careers and great businesses are built by evolution.
• It is better to go down in fiery failure because you chased your loftiest ambitions than to spend your best hours watching television in some subdivision.
• Initiative and hard work is the warm-up act for a headliner called success Small daily improvements, over time, lead to stunning results.
• Being nice isn’t being weak. Please don’t confuse kindness with weakness.
• Gratitude is the antidote to fear.
• Happy people really do make happy leaders.
• The way you start your day determines how well you will live your day.
• You can’t craft a superb future by remaining stuck in your past.
• We are blind to our blind spots. We see the world not as it is but as we are.
• You are a leader, no matter what you do in your life either with title or without a title, you are still a leader.
• You need to have passion to do any job. It is not the title that gives you respect but the amount of contribution you make to your work. Title gives you only authority. But the real leadership involves in walking the talk and leading from front regardless of the area of activity to pursue.
• State your personal experiences of achieving success and breaking your mental limitations.
• Relentless learning is one of the main traits of an open and powerful person.
• The best people always seem to have the biggest libraries.
• Sometimes we need to get off track before we can develop the clarity to be on track.
• You must excel in your area of activity to excel as a leader. Titles and positions don’t matter but the contribution that you make towards your work ultimately matters.
• You will never behave in a way that’s inconsistent with your self-image.
• Focus married with time produces mastery.
• Small little leadership acts really will compound into breathtaking consequences.
• Be master in your own trade whether you are a teacher, tailor or cobbler.
• Daily ripples of superior performance add up over time to a tidal wave of outrageous success.
• Nothing is more precious in work than staying consistent with your values and protecting your good name.
• Most people don’t discover how to live until just before they die.
• The most uncomfortable of conditions that can be the crucible that forges the best leaders.
• Things often have to fall apart before they can be rebuilt in a much better way.
• Speaking about something amplifies it within your perception because you are giving your attention and energy to it.
• Focus on the best and neglect al the rest.
• Sometimes you need to slow down to speed up.
• Problems are really nothing more than platforms for even brighter possibilities.
• Leadership is not some complex art reserved for the chosen few with Harvard degrees and impeccable social backgrounds. As long as you work efficiently and effectively you are a leader.

The book outlines 4 natural powers. They are:

1. Every one of us alive in this moment has the power to go to work each day and express the absolute best within us. And you need no title to do that.
2. Every one of us alive today has the power to inspire, influence, and elevate each person we meet by the gift of a great example. And you need not title to do that.
3. Every one of us alive with life can passionately drive positive change in the face of negative conditions. And you need no title to do that.
4. Every one of us alive to the truth about leadership can treat all stakeholders with respect, appreciation, and kindness – and in so doing raise the organization’s culture to best of breed. And you need to do that.

The book concludes with the observation of the anthropologist Margaret Mead, ”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


”Leadership is action, not position.” - Donald H. McGannon

This is a good book from Robin Sharma’s stable with valuable takeaways. If you have read his other books you will find repetition of his ideas and insights. However, it contains additional information with advice that is worth noting. You cannot compare this book with his legendary book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. To conclude, the book moves the human spirit with intellectual and inspiring inputs. Enjoy reading.

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