Why A Great Leader Doesn't Need a Title


I want to do a quick book review of the book “The Leader Who Had No Title.” I believe it’s a must-read for team leaders. I highly recommend you read it, and I believe it’s available on Audible as well.

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. This is the wrong approach according to Robin Sharma (author).   

The foundation principle of this book 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 wiling 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.

In the story, the main character (Blake) has conversations with four unorthodox leaders. Each of these individuals works in a position that - based on conventional wisdom - would not be considered a leadership position.

Each conversation brings out key principles that can help “ordinary” people become true leaders:

4 Major Themes

1. You need not 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.”

2. 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.”

3. 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.

4. 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.

Again, this is a book you have to pick up, but in case you don’t, I’m going to go deeper into the main leadership themes.

Theme 1: You Need No Title to Be a Leader

Anna - a member of the housekeeping staff at a high-end luxury hotel. Anna teaches Blake about personal responsibility and the face 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


Theme 2: Turbulent Times Build Great Leaders

Ty Boyd - a 5-tyme 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.

Speak with Candor
Adversity Breeds Opportunity
Respond vs. React
Kudos for Everyone

Theme 3: The deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership

Jackson Chan - ex-CEO of a multibillion dollar technology company turned gardener. Jackson’s message to Blake si that the deeper your relationships the stronger your leadership.

Jackson’s acronym for Blake is HUMAN.


Theme 4: To be a great leader, first become a great person

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.

See Clearly
Health is Wealth
Inspiration Matters
Neglect Not Your Family
Elevate Your Lifestyle

Let’s close with a quote from Robin Sharma:
“The farmer has patience and trusts the process. He just has the faith and deep understanding that through his daily efforts, the harvest will come. And then one day, almost out of nowhere, it does.”

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