AUTHOR: ROBIN SHARMA
The book The Leader Who Had No Title, authored by Robin Sharma is a 203 page book published by Jaico Publishing House, Mumbai.
The book is centred around the critical principle of 'self leadership' with a constant theme that anyone who understands and practices this principle can lead, regardless of his or her official title in an organization.
The story revolves around Blake, an ex-military recruit, who after signing off from the Army after a tenure in Iraq lacks focus in his life and finds himself adrift mentally. He works in a book store, but his life is aimless till 'out of the blue' he is offered an opportunity to learn the secrets of limitless success at work and in life. In the book Blake receives inspirational inputs, from four unlikely individuals, who come from diverse walks of life. A maid who simply states that each person should ensure that the task undertaken should be executed in the best possible manner, with the individual focussing on his/her Locus of Control rather than Locus of Influence. She highlights that it's the individual's commitment towards work and the choice one can make to do the best work each day, regardless of the nature of the job that makes a person a leader; a surfer who demonstrates how important it is to rise to the riskiest challenges in today's dynamic and turbulent environment; a former CEO who explains the value of great relationships; and a shoe shiner who proves that excellence begins within. The ease of language of the book and the examples put forth orients the reader to the central theme of the book that "the most powerful leadership comes from within" and that anything is possible when those skills are put to use. In addition, for ease of recall, to put these ideas into practice, mnemonics have been given.
The Leader Who Had No Title is engaging and has examples with real-world lessons that allow the reader to connect with the author's theory. According to the author, the bottom line is that leaders are those individuals who are willing to take failure in their stride but never hesitate in attempting a task even though they might not like doing them. The book firmly establishes a well known but oft forgotten fact that too many people do not realise their true potential in life and are satisfied by mediocrity.
While the title of the book may lead one to believe that the book is primarily on Leadership, it has ample examples of putting this central idea into practice for improving management skills. The nemonics, IMAGE, SPARK, HUMAN, SHINE all carry strong lessons in management. The book teaches us how to work with and influence people, regardless of ones position within the organisation. This could be best achieved by building teams, establishing and nurturing human connections. This aspect has been beautifully elaborated when Blake is being explained the value of great relationships. Putting people first and giving them the respect they are due, irrespective of their standing in the organisation is an issue which is high lighted. The key to being a successful leader is the ability of recognising and then seizing opportunities in this dynamic environment. The key to success is intense innovation. This has been predicated by globalisation resulting in the consumer becoming more informed and demanding. It's a 'dog eat dog' world out there. Managers need to absorb tactics to become mentally and physically tough enough to lead the field. The book highlights real-world ways to defeat stress and build an unbeatable mind-set. The author has also done well to focus on the importance of not ignoring your family and advocating all around development.