Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Book Review: The Leader Who had no Title


We all need to lead where we are planted and shine where we now find ourselves.” According to Robin Sharma, the author of The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life, anyone can be a leader. 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 Sharma.

The book is written in a business fable style. The story is good and somewhat engaging. The leadership principles that surface in the story make the book worth reading. The foundation principle 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 willing 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:

  • 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.”
  • 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.”
  • 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.
  • 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.

If you are looking for practical ways to improve your leadership and your ability to make a difference where you’re at now, this book is a must-read. Though I’m not a veteran, I appreciate the thread of gratitude throughout the book for veterans who have served and for the freedoms espoused in America.

The Product Management Perspective: This is a great book for product managers. Too often we agonize over titles and the fact that some people/organizations do not give us the “respect we deserve.” We have the opportunity to become leaders in our organizations, regardless of the title or the perception of others.

10 thoughts on “Book Review: The Leader Who had no Title

  1. I really appreciated with the 4 principles for being a leader. Definitely, I agreed with the Author, Robin Shama on his flexible and great vision that every can be a leader and he/she already had gained successive experiences for being a leader without title.
    Thank you .

  2. Pingback: New Books! « The ilovereadin' Blog

  3. i need the critical review

  4. All good.. but most important in communiction. If cannot communicate what you did good and present youreself in deplomatic way you are not a leader. I have seen many people who are just good and knowledge abt the external world than related to operation are now leading.
    A man who can handle the complete operations / can guide other will not be a leader. The leader will be one who just know how to present his failure and team effort as what he has done.

  5. Pingback: Career Tuesday Intro (on Wednesday) | Chelsea Laviolette

  6. Pingback: The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable On Real Success In Business And In Life | The Book Review Hub

  7. When you go to your limits, your limits will expand

    I am not a big fan of self-help books , specially one advertising by success in 7 days or 24 hours. No one can just succeed in 7 days by reading one book but this book was different. This book captured my attention with a TLWHNT, every one claim for title, measure their success with the position they reached and this book taught me it’s not the position which matters, its the satisfaction which matter. This doesn’t give you any short cut rule for success (there isn’t any) but it will tell you how can you train yourself for the competitive world around you.
    Book has limitless inspirational quotes and motivating thoughts. If I say some books have bought changes in me then I am sure this is one among them.

  8. I am highly influenced and motivated by the BOOK that anyone can become a LEADER and first step is to live in LWT principle.

    With Loving
    Ananda Pradhan

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