In this easy-to-ready book, Robin Sharma tells the story of Blake Davis, a young men who is bored, apathetic and victimized by his current job. After losing both of his parents and returning from duty in Iraq his primary focus in his work is to survive rather than to thrive. It is not until he is introduced to an old family friend of his father, Tommy, that he becomes engaged and excited about his work. Tommy introduces Blake to four teachers throughout the story that help Blake uncover what it means to lead without a title.
Throughout the story, each teacher shares a key insight about leadership:
1. Everyone has the natural power to be a leader
2. Adversity makes leaders stronger
3. Relationships are the foundation of strong leaders
4. Leaders set an example at work and at home
This book is written as modern story, making it easy for anyone to read and enjoy. The repetition of some of the concepts may be a bit tiresome throughout, but they are all powerful concepts that are worth being repeated at the end of the day. I would recommend this book to anyone at any stage in their life or career. The lessons are relevant to a new employee, a new supervisor, or a seasoned manager. This is one of those rare books that has the potential to create a revolution in the workplace if discussed and shared with others.
There are so many fantastic lessons in this book that it is difficult to select the most impactful one. In fact, each of you may find a different part of the book that speaks to you.
The overarching message of the book is that everyone has the power to lead and make their role something meaningful to them. If we spend more time focusing on developing our leadership abilities and less time focused on our salary, the corner office or the powerful title, we will find that the latter wouldn't matter anymore but that it will come - naturally.
"Leaders without title check their ego at the front door every morning before they walk into work." - Robin Sharma, page 78.
Tips for Leading Without a Title
The book is saturated with 5-step recommendations, acronyms and buzz phrases that suggest a quick fix to becoming a leader. However, none of these suggestions could be implemented in a day - they each take commitment and consistency over a long period of time to become effective and deliver results.
Some of the personal tips I extracted from the book include:
* Slow and Steady Wins the Race - throughout the book Sharma emphasizes the importance of acting upon small, effective leadership steps every day. While these small actions may not make a difference on their own, over time they will stack up, overlap and grow into a powerful and impactful leadership style that others respect.
* You Decide if You're a Leader - the power in a title can easily be taken away if we lose or change jobs, but the natural power we receive by becoming true leaders can never be taken away from us. Through the decisions and actions we take and the adversity that we overcome we make the decision to become a leader instead of a victim.
* Leadership is a Lifestyle - it's impossible to be successful at wearing two different masks. You cannot be a leader at work and not at home. In order to truly lead without a title you must find a way to balance your personal, family and work needs into one life. Your strengths and weaknesses will flow from one place to the next.
I highly recommend The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life
by Robin Sharma and would hedge a bet to even the greatest critics that you will find something powerful in this book that strikes a chord in your own life or work. Sharma very plainly shows that this is more than a book or a concept to him, it is a viral revolution to the workplace.