Summary- The Leader Who Had No Title


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In The Leader Who Had No Title, Robin Sharma shows how individuals, regardless of title, have the power to demonstrate leadership wherever they are. The lessons recounted in this book will help individuals rise to a new level of innovation, performance, and
customer loyalty. There are strategies to go from just being busy to achieving stunning results, transformational leadership lessons to build a great company, and hard-hitting tactics to become mentally and physically strong enough to lead in times of change

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Summary- The Leader Who Had No Title

  1. 1. Key Impressionistic takes from the book Robin Sharma’s “The Leader who had no title” by Ramki
  2. 2. Prelude The book “ The Leader who had no title” written by Robin Sharma brings out that anyone can be a leader. Most of us go to work with the mind-set 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. This is the wrong approach according to Sharma. The story is good and somewhat engaging. The leadership principles that surface in the story make the book worth reading. The foundation principle is Self-Leadership. Anyone who understands this can lead regardless of his or her official title in an organization. According to Sharma, “leaders are those individuals who do the things that failures aren’t willing to do–even though they might not like doing them either.” Too many people pay the sad costs of mediocrity and forego the spectacular rewards of being a leader. Blake Davis, the fictional hero in Robin Sharma’s The Leader Who Had No Title, gets his tips on leadership from his mentor, Tommy Flinn. Blake enlists in the army and sees action in Iraq, where many of his friends are killed. But this is not a book on the war in Iraq, so that phase of Blake’s life is dealt with in just a few paragraphs. The interesting part of the story begins when the narrator, now working at a bookstore in SoHo, comes across “a most curious stranger.& the lessons he taught me in our all too brief time together shattered the limitations I’d been clinging to — exposing me to a whole new way of working and a completely new way of being.” Tommy engages Blake in four leadership conversations, which among other things, teach him how to work with and influence people like a superstar, regardless of one’s position
  3. 3. Prelude- Contd..  You need no title to be a leader: Success (business and personal) is something that’s consciously created. To lead without a title “you will have to be unrealistically persistent and wildly courageous.”  Turbulent times build great leaders: Challenging times in both business and life give us great opportunities to learn and transform ourselves. “Problems and difficult days are actually good for you.”  The deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership: “Leave every single person who intersects your path better, happier, and more engaged than you found them.” Time spent forming deep relationships–in all aspects of life–will pay dividends down the road. To be a great leader, first become a great person: Training and strengthening your inner leader will help you perform at extraordinary levels. The key is learning to lead yourself. In our world we define success by the things we have, not by the people we’ve become. The more self-awareness we develop the more likely we are to grow and help others.
  4. 4. “ In a gentle way you can shake the World “ By Mahatma Gandhi
  5. 5. You need no title to be a leader- Quotes ‘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.
  6. 6. You need no title to be a leader- Quotes ‘Success is created through conscious choice. And is the eventual and inevitable consequence of superior decision making. Anyone can be successful. Few choose to be.’ ‘Leadership is about having unshakeable faith in your vision and unrelenting confidence in your power to make the positive change happen.’
  7. 7. You need no title to be a leader- Quotes ‘Simply remember that no matter what your position within the organisation and no matter how old you are or where you live …. You have the power to show leadership. And no one and nothing can ever deny you that.’
  8. 8. 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, 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  SPARK – Speak with Candor, Prioritize, Adversity Breeds Opportunity, Respond Versus React, Kudos for Everyone.
  9. 9. The Four major themes of the book  You need no title to be a leader  Turbulent times build great leaders  The deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership  To be a great leader, first become a great
  10. 10. 1 You need no title to be a leader Blake Davis meets Anna – a member of the housekeeping staff at a high-end luxury hotel. Anna teaches Blake about personal responsibility and the fact that you need no title to be a leader. Anna (as well as all the other teachers) gives Blake an acronym to help him remember what she has told him and help him apply it to his life. Her acronym is IMAGE
  11. 11. This chapter in the book focuses on the fact that human beings has choice to act either pro-actively or reactively on situations in life & the question is how do you take up this leadership role in your life. The acronym associated with this chapter is IMAGE  Innovation- we need to create growth daily through innovation.  Mastery- committing to mastery through constant improvement.  Authenticity- being trustworthy to yourself and other.  Guts- having the courage to do things other fear to do.  Ethics- doing what is right and staying true to your values. Theme 1- You need no title to be a leader
  12. 12. Innovation  ‘Be all about making this day better than Yesterday”  ‘Daily ripples of superior performance add up over time to a tidal wave of outrageous success”  ‘Dream big but yet start small. That is the key’  ‘Great careers and great businesses are built by evolution  ‘The more successful you become, the more hungry you need to be’ Theme 1- You need no title to be a leader
  13. 13. Mastery  ‘Be so good that people cannot ignore you’  ‘Focus married with Time produces Mastery  ‘Nothing less than my very best ’  ‘Being extraordinary in your work is one of the true secrets of happiness’ Theme 1- You need no title to be a leader
  14. 14. Authenticity  ‘Your ability to have an impact and make a contribution comes from who you are as a person than from the authority you receive by your placement in an org chart’  ‘To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else …. Is the greatest accomplishment ’ – By Ralph Waldo Emerson  ‘Don’t lose yourself on your way to the top’ – By Jack Welch  ‘There will never be a better you than you ’ – By Warren Buffett Theme 1- You need no title to be a leader
  15. 15. Guts  ‘You will need to dare more than a reasonable person and risk far more than an ordinary person’ Theme 1- You need no title to be a leader Ethics  ‘Leadership success lies at the intersection where excellence meets honour’  ‘Your reputation is all you have’  ‘Integrity always leads to beautiful rewards. Be courageous enough to ensure your deeds reflect your creed ’
  16. 16. Summing up- You need no title to be a leader- 5 Rules I-innovation M-mastery A-authenticity G-guts E-ethics Money, influence & position are nothing compared with brains, principles , energy & perseverance – by Orison Swett Marden
  17. 17. 2 Turbulent times build great leaders Next Blake Davis meets - Ty Boyd – a 5-time world slalom skiing champion. Ty talks with Blake about how turbulent times build great leaders and how many people resist the opportunity to show personal leadership because of the fear they have about exceeding their abilities. Ty’s acronym is SPARK
  18. 18. This part of the book focuses on Chaos & changes and how do each one take up our role in these turbulent times The acronym associated with this chapter is SPARK  Speak the naked truth and rather over communicate.  Prioritise- Focus on the best and neglect all the rest.  Adversity creates opportunity.  Response- do we act or react on events in our life?  Kudos- stand for recognition for everybody, for doing things right. Theme 2- Turbulent times build great Leaders
  19. 19. Speak with Candor  ‘An important part of showing leadership is to be more committed to speaking honestly than receiving the approval of others’  ‘Your words are really nothing more than your thoughts made verbal. Your language broadcasts your beliefs.’  ‘…. The only words they try their best to use everyday are those that inspire, engage and elevate’ Theme 2- Turbulent times build great leaders
  20. 20. Prioritize  ‘Focus on the best and ignore the rest’  ‘…. Become the best at a few things you focus on. Focus. Focus. Focus. To the point of obsession.  ‘The best leaders stay staggeringly focused on their Biggest To Dos’  ‘Shift from chaotic complexity to elegant simplicity’ Theme 2- Turbulent times build great leaders
  21. 21. Adversity breeds opportunities  ‘Adversity unleashes noble boldness in each of us – if we allow it to’  ‘Obstacles show up to measure how badly you want something’ Respond Vs. React  ‘Rather than just stand there paralyzed by fear, they stayed calm, showed excellence & turned it all around Theme 2- Turbulent times build great leaders
  22. 22. Kudos ( offering to the team)  ‘Recognise excellence. Praise good work. Honour mastery’  ‘Real leadership has so much to do with applauding others when they are doing things right’  Recognize excellence , Praise good work, Honor Mastery Theme 2- Turbulent times build great leaders
  23. 23.  ‘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 …. I am a lion. I will persist until I succeed’ – Og Mandino  ‘Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever’ – Lance Armstrong  ‘Difficult days never last. But strong people always do’  ‘If everything is under control, you are going too slow’ – Mario Andretti Theme 2- Turbulent times build great leaders- Quotes
  24. 24.  Change brings uncertainty and fear. The transition from caterpillar to butterfly looks messy. But we know something even more beautiful is being created  ‘What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the Master calls the Butterfly’ – Richard Bach Theme 2- Turbulent times build great leaders-Quotes
  25. 25. S-Speak with Candor P-Prioritize A-Adversity breeds opportunity R-Respond Vs. React K-Kudos for all Summing up- Turbulent times build great Leaders Life begins at the end of your comfort zone – by Neale Donald Walsch
  26. 26. 3 The deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership Blake meets - Jackson Chan – ex-CEO of a multibillion dollar technology company turned gardener. Jackson’s message to Blake is that the deeper your relationships the stronger your leadership. Jackson’s acronym for Blake is HUMAN.
  27. 27. This part of the book focuses on relationships & the importance of surrounding us with strong people to make us leader strong. The question is also asked how much heart and contribution do we put into our relationships. The acronym associated with relationships is, HUMAN  Helpfulness- What is your contribution and value add?  Understanding through using your ears to really listen.  Mingle- Network and engage with people at all levels.  Amuse people through fun to get engagement.  Nurture- people that they feel valued after each engagement . Theme 3-The Deeper your relationship , the stronger your leadership
  28. 28.  ‘You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself’– Harry Firestone Theme 3-The Deeper your relationship , the stronger your leadership- Quotes  ‘The more value you create for all your constituents – from your teammates to your customers – the more your organization will see incredible financial success. And the more you’ll win in your career’
  29. 29.  ‘If you want to win, you need to help others to win. And part of that is doing all you can do to build a high performance culture within your organisation.’  ‘Leading by example is one of the most powerful tools for positively influencing change in other people Theme 3-The Deeper your relationship , the stronger your leadership
  30. 30. H-Helpfulness U-Understanding M-Mingle A-Amuse N-Nurture Theme 3- The Deeper your relationship , the stronger your leadership No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or to get all the credit for doing it – by Andrew Carnegie
  31. 31. 4 To be a great leader, first become a great person Blake meets- Jet Brisley – massage therapist to the rich and famous. Jet’s lesson for Blake is to be a great leader you must first become a great person. Jet’s acronym is SHINE
  32. 32. This part of the book brings balance to remind us that we need to grow as individuals to be able to contribute to other and the world. The acronym associated with relationships is SHINE  See clearly- The question that we need to ask frequently is what our reality is and what is actual reality? The way we look at the world.  Health is important to ensure we have energy to create wealth.  Inspiration- As leader you need to ensure daily interaction with activities that inspire you, so that you can inspire other.  Neglect not your family and friends.  Elevate your lifestyle, meaning that as great leaders we must also enjoy the journey.
  33. 33.  ‘A winner is a winner before he has become a winner’ – Berry Gordy Jr.  ‘You can’t craft a superb future by remaining stuck in your past’  ‘By becoming a superb thinker and by believing in yourself you will virtually create what you are thinking See Clearly
  34. 34. Health is wealth  ‘Your health will never be better than your self image Inspiration Matters  ‘A day without feeling inspired is a day that you have not fully lived. You need to refill your well of inspiration every day because the challenges of life will drain it every day
  35. 35. Neglect not your family  ‘What is the point in becoming super successful but ending up all alone? A huge amount of joy can be found in cultivating beautiful relationships with your family & friends’ Elevate your life style  ‘Contribution is the ultimate purpose of work & life’  ‘Success is not about what you receive. Success is all about what you return’
  36. 36.  ‘Lead yourself first. Only then you will get to a place as a person where you can lead others  ‘Greatness on the outside begins within ’  ‘Don’t use your possessions to define you. Because, if you lose them you lose yourself ’
  37. 37. S-See Clearly H-Health is wealth I-Inspiration Matters N-Neglect not your family E-Elevate your lifestyle Theme 4- To be a great leaders, first become a great person If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams & endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours– by Henry David Thoreau
  38. 38. Key Takeaways  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
  39. 39. Key Takeaways  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.
  40. 40. Key Takeaways  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.  Be master in your own trade whether you are a teacher, tailor or cobbler.
  41. 41. In case you wonder whether Robin Sharma is suggesting doing away with titles in an organisation, very quickly he points out ….. ‘I am not at all saying an organisation should not have titles. They should actually. We need the people on the executive team setting the vision, steering the boat and holding ultimate responsibility for the results. Titles and Structure maintain order and keep everything running smoothly. But …. for any organisation to thrive amid all the turbulence …. each one of us needs to take personal responsibility by becoming CEO of our own roles and leaders within our current positions ‘ ‘We all need to lead where we are planted and shine where we now find ourselves.’
  42. 42. ‘The great and glorious legacy of human being is to live with a purpose’