Recently Booth Kammann, CEO of Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians recommended this book to me. She is using it to build leadership ownership up/down and across the new organization which was created by a merger of Knoxville, Chattanooga and Johnson City Councils in Tennessee. Personally, I found the book a GREAT read (and an enjoyable audio book) and believe it is an excellent self-help guide to all employed folks interested in leadership and self-development. Other Executive Coaches and Human Resources Professionals will enjoy the book for its commonsense principles which desperately need to become common practice in today’s workplace. A variety of online resources have also been created by the writer to support the reader in implementing the principals.
The premise of LWT is simply that all of us are leaders in the different roles that we play in life and work, and therefore, we do not need a title to give us the authority to lead. The four key messages in the book are designed to inspire readers to tap into their ability to step-up and take responsibility (and be personally accountable) for their actions and success. Here is a brief overview of those four messages:
1. You Need No Title to be a Leader
This section of the book focuses on the fact that human beings have the choice to act either pro-actively or reactively in virtually all situations. The acronym or 5 rules associated with this part of the book is, IMAGE:
- Innovation – daily growth is created through innovation.
- Mastery – mastery involves our commitment to constant improvement.
- Authenticity – leaders in all areas of life must be trustworthy to themselves and others.
- Guts – leaders must have the courage to do things others fear doing.
- Ethics – leaders do what is right and stay true to their values.
2. Turbulent Times Build Great Leaders
This segment of the book focuses on chaos and change and how we can step into our roles more powerfully during these turbulent times. The acronym or 5 rules associated with turbulent times is, SPARK:
- Speak with candor – rather than over communicate.
- Prioritize, or focus on the best and neglect all the rest.
- Adversity creates opportunity.
- Respond vs. React to the events in our life.
- Kudos for Everyone – become a passionate celebrator of outstanding work and recognize everybody, for doing things right.
3. The Deeper you’re Relationships, the Stronger your Leadership
This part of the book focuses on relationships and the importance of surrounding ourselves with strong people. The reality is the main business of business is to connect with and add value to other people. The acronym or 5 rules associated with deepening relationships is, HUMAN:
- Helpfulness – what is your contribution and where do you value add?
- Understanding – seek understanding by really listening to people.
- Mingle – network and engage people at all levels.
- Amuse – engage people through fun and enjoyment.
- Nurture – leave people feeling valued after each engagement because they are the most important element of any winning business.
4. To Be a Great Leader, First Become a Great Person.
This final slice of The Leader Who Had No Title reminds us that we need to grow as individuals to be able to contribute to each other, our organizations, and the world. This may also be expressed as “lead yourself first.” When everyone awakens their inner leader and plays at their absolute best the company will automatically rise to the top. The acronym or 5 rules associated with this segment is SHINE:
- See clearly – It is important to see reality clearly, because we never act in a way that is inconsistent with the way we see ourselves. And, true leadership requires breaking through the limits of our mind so we can step into our highest potential.
- Health is Wealth – physical health is important to ensure we have energy to create success.
- Inspiration – as leader you need to ensure daily interaction with activities that inspire you, so that you can inspire other.
- Neglect not your family and friends.
- Elevate your lifestyle – or simply find ways to truly enjoy the journey.
This book is a must read for leaders (and those aspiring to be leaders) in today’s workplace. And remember, if you need a hand honing your leadership skills, we can help!
Cheers to your success.