“Getting lost along your path is a part of finding the path you are meant to be on.”
― Robin Sharma
Robin Sharma writes about leadership and its benefits using a fictional story that highlights the lessons and tools of leading without a title. Blake Davis, who lost his parents and returned from the army now works at a bookstore down in SoHo and has resigned himself to a mundane existence. He meets Tim, an eccentric-looking old man who’s transferred to his shop, who introduces him to the concept of leading without a title.
Tommy introduces him to the idea that anyone, at any level, whether CEO or janitor, can lead without a title. He takes him to meet four teachers who introduced him to this philosophy of leading without a title. Each teacher imparts core principles, summarised in acronyms to make it easier to remember.
Teacher #1: A high-end hotel housekeeper. She believes that the work she does is essential to the smooth running of the hotel and so she does it to the best of her abilities. She emphasises that you do not need a title to lead. Her five core principles are in the acronym, IMAGE.
Teacher #2: A former skiing champion who advises that turbulent times build great leaders. His acronym is SPARK.
Speak with candour.
Adversity breeds opportunity
Respond vs react
Kudos for everyone
Teacher #3: A former superstar CEO who says that the deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership. His acronym is HUMAN.
Teacher #4: A famous massage therapist who shares that to be a great leader you have to first become a great person. His acronym is SHINE.
Health is wealth
Neglect not your family
Elevate your lifestyle
There are more acronyms throughout the book and more quotes, and the writing itself sounds like a string of quotes put together in paragraphs to create a story. However, as tiring as that kind of writing can be at times, it does have a lot of lessons that you can implement to create a happier and meaningful life. I found this idea of leading without a title to be excellent advice, because it can help make you feel significant and inspire you to do your best in everything, in your personal life, and in your career.
The Leader Who Had No Title may not be so great in storytelling but it does fulfill its purpose, and that is to teach the fundamentals of leadership, to teach how to embrace fear and live your best life. If you’ve read any other book by Robin Sharma you’ll notice the similarities. I recently read The 5AM Club and noticed that in both books you have the main character(s) living an unfulfilling life and meeting an old eccentric man who invites them on a journey to learn philosophies that help them change their lives for the best. If you look past the shortcomings of storytelling, you’ll appreciate the tools he presents in the book.