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BOOKS| The Leader Who Had No Title By Robin Sharma

My boss gave everyone books as Christmas gifts and this amazing book happened to be one of my colleague’s books. I was attracted to it not just because of the curious title but the cover too, so I borrowed it. I’m glad I did because the book came with a lot of gifts I’m sharing with you all today.

Leadership is a term we hear in every workplace but do we really know what it takes to be a leader? Well, I think not because if we’re judging with the contents of this book, most people in leadership positions are not leaders and also, you don’t need a position of authority to be a leader. I’ve been asked what it takes to be a good leader during job interviews and I always had an answer based on my beliefs but I’m happy I have extended my knowledge about what it means to be a leader this month.

Leadership is not about what we get or where you sit. It is about how brilliantly we work and how masterfully we behave.

So What Does It Mean To Be A Leader?

Robin Sharma breaks down what it means to be a leader into four philosophies and he used acronyms to explain his points. I really loved this because it makes it easy to remember and practice them.

1. You Need No Title To Be A Leader – IMAGE 

I – Innovation. Be interested in innovation because it trumps repeating what has worked in the past and helps you rethink the way you work.
M – Mastery. Commit yourself to mastery at what you do by aspiring to be FMOB (First, Most, Only  & The Best).
A – Authenticity. Your ability to make an impact comes more from who you are as a person than from the authority you receive by your placement on some organizational chart.
G – Guts. You need to have guts in business. Be unrealistically persistent and wildly courageous. Try to see good when people see bad, try to see opportunities when people see challenges.
E – Ethics. Stay consistent with your values and protect your name. People will either run to you or from you based on your reputation so you need to guard your brand by being impeccably ethical.

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2. Turbulent Times Build Great Leaders – SPARK 

S – Speak with candour. Be a truth-filled and inspirational communicator. Speak your truth even when it’s difficult. Speak words that inspire, engage and elevate others around you.
P – Prioritize. The best leaders stay focused on the biggest to-dos. Cut out the low impact activities in your workday and make room for high impact ones.
A – Adversity Breeds Opportunity. For every dream that dies, a better one may come to life. Keep moving forward and don’t dwell on the past.
R – Respond versus React. When turbulent times hit, react. Turbulent times carry incredible opportunities for us to be remarkable leaders
K – Kudos for Everyone. This is a reminder to shine a light on people and appreciate people.  Applaud the smallest positive act, recognize excellence, praise mastery don’t wait for a manager to do it.

3. The Deeper Your Relationships, The Stronger Your Leadership – HUMAN

H – Helpfulness. Always do more than you are paid to do. Commit to becoming the most helpful person you know.
U – Understanding. To build outstanding relationships, you don’t just need to be helpful, you need to be understanding too. Listen to understand and not to reply.
M – Mingle. Connect with your teammates and network with your customers.
A – Amuse. Having fun while you do great work will boost your productivity because when people enjoy themselves at work, their stress level is lower.
N – Nurture. Be awesomely nice. Be friendly but firm, be sincere but strong, be tender and tough at the same time. Leave every person who intersects your path better, happier, and more engaged than you found them.

People can’t be ridiculously great in their work lives until they first feel ridiculously great within their inner lives.

4. To Be a Great Leader, First Become a Great Person – SHINE 

S – See clearly. Remember you have flaws in your perception. What you see sometimes is not actually what you’re seeing.
H – Health is wealth. Always remember to take care of your health both physical and mental.
I – Inspiration matters. Do what it takes to be the most inspired person in the room. Listening to music helps and communing with nature helps with inspiration.
N – Neglect not your family. You really don’t need much to be happy – work you can be proud of, food on your table every night, wonderful health, and people you love.
E – Elevate your lifestyle. Do something every day to improve your lifestyle.

Reading these philosophies was truly enlightening but I wish the last philosophy had come first. I’ve always believed that it’s important to work on ourselves first before we can work on other people. Most leaders don’t know they suck at leadership because they don’t practice self-leadership.

Leadership isn’t only something we do at work, we need to practice leadership within every area of our lives. By infusing leadership into everything we do and each thing we touch, we can live remarkably and truly help others.

I love sharing the nuggets from books I read with you all so I can always come back and remind myself of the lessons and practice them every day.

Mariam Shittu

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