Critical Book Review – You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader by Mark Sanborn

Source by Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Pick up most business cards and after the name you will read a title. Titles are necessary to people especially in business and even more so in sales. Yet in reality, titles are less important.

In this book, You Don’t Need a Title To Be A Leader, Mark Sanborn shows how anyone, anywhere can make a positive difference by the use of six principles of leadership. This book is a fairly quick read under 110 pages and written in a easy to read writing style.

This book is separated into three distinct parts. The first part examines what constitutes a leader. Section two delves into greater detail about the six principles of leadership. Part III talks about making a positive difference specific to leaving a legacy.

So what is a leader? In the first chapter, Sanborn illustrates the answer to this question by sharing part of the life of an average person. He then illustrates how titles can be used to replace rewards and provide an additional incentive.

One great point he makes is “titles are broad brushstrokes.” Another common sense observation is

“people who lead – whether or not they have a title – strive to make things happen.”

The six principle of leadership are:

  1. The Power of Self-Mastery which is best summed up by this quote “The hardest victory is over self.”” Aristotle.
  2. The Power of Focus which includes a much need spiritual reference.
  3. The Power of People understands people make it happen.
  4. The Power of Persuasive Communication which recognizes the real purpose of communication.
  5. The Power of Execution which was probably best said by William Blake “Executi8on is the chariot of genius.”
  6. The Power of Giving which is epitomized in this words of Albert Schweitzer “If you truly desire happiness, seek and learn how to serve.”

Each principle is further explained along with some great examples and complimentary concepts and quotations. One of my favorite is from Principle 5 where the author quotes Henry Ford who said “You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do.”

In the final section of this great read, Sanborn who is also the co-author of The Fred Factor examined how to leave a legacy of leadership or what some now call succession planning. The first two sentences in this section said it all “Everyone matters. Everyone makes a difference.”

He also illustrated the difference between a resume and a legacy that I believe should be read by a lot more people. Another notable fact was from Barna Research that suggested only “one of four Americans have a life philosophy.”

Since philosophy comes from the word philosopher which means wise loving, then this book is full wisdom. Even if you receive only one nugget, then it is indeed a book worth reading.

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