“Leadership is less about the position you hold than the influence you have. It is about doing world-class work, playing at your peak, and leaving people better than you found them. It is about leading without a title.” – Robin Sharma
Every person who works within a business owns the responsibility of showing leadership at their craft, meaning even those who work as an intern have the responsibility to lead themselves and the community around them – even if they do not have the title of a ‘leader’.
However, leading without a title seems difficult and daunting. Who will follow someone who has no authoritative title within a company? The truth is, anyone can be a leader. Robin Sharma, leadership expert and author of The Leader Who Had No Title, said that every single of us has the opportunity to show leadership in our work and within our lives. What we need to do is to begin, start the journey of leading. As long as you upskill your leadership competency, there is always a way to lead without a title. The tactics are quite simple, Sharma advised to practice these steps:
One of the best things a leader should understand is that “if you cannot lead yourself, you cannot lead others.” This is as simple as you cannot make others happy if you are sad. None of us has the right to lead others into greatness if our own personal lives are a train-wreck. Being successful in the game of life precedes great leadership. Face whatever personal issues you have been avoiding head on and clean up on all fronts.
Leaders are a people person. They should welcome anyone who needs help or anyone who needs someone to listen to. No matter how difficult the situation is leaders should never turn down an offer. They should always be ready and willing to throw a lifeline, such as lend a hand, offer insight, donate time, run out for coffee, etc. The winners understand that strengthening capacity at every level, in every person, is the way to win.
Invictus means unconquerable or undefeated in Latin. It is a poem written by William Ernest Henley when he was in the hospital being treated for tuberculosis. There is also a movie called Invictus directed by Clint Eastwood. The movie tells the story of the South African rugby team’s quest for the World Cup. Why this movie? Sharma cited that the movie is an excellent and entertaining reminder of great leadership. The film teaches us how to eloquently execute astonishing acts of forgiveness, compassion and moving upward when circumstances and people hold the potential to bring you down into victimhood.
Sharma wrote that “leaders should secure their own oxygen first before assisting others.” It means leaders should be strong enough for themselves first, then to lead others. Strong here does not only mean the body but also the mind. Routine challenging exercise, healthy eating habits, sleeping deeply, and doing what makes you feel alive and excited is medicine to live strong. In fact, all great leaders that succeed are refusing lifestyle, habits and circumstances that weaken them. Great leaders do not just own their full potential on the field, they claim their potential in all domains of their life. They continuously lead even without a title.