You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader is a book written by Mark Sanborn. In the introduction he states that everyone has the opportunity to lead, everyday. If you work as a professional who is helping others to achieve a better quality of life, then you are exerting positive influence, which he says is leadership. He also says leaders have a passion for what they do. So, even if your title isn’t CEO, you might want to take another look at yourself.
What does a leader look like? Well, it depends on the person. Here are some things that Sanborn says all successful leaders do:
- Influence others
- Lead through relationships
- Collaborate instead of control
- Persuade others to contribute
- Get others to follow out of respect rather than fear
An important point that the author makes is this: Influence comes from the person, not the position. So regardless of your role in your life, company, or organization – you can lead from where you are. He states, “When you do your job with initiative and determination, you become a leader. People who lead strive to make things better. They consciously exercise their skills, abilities and knowledge to make a difference.” This pretty much sums up every person I know working in health, fitness, wellness, or allied health.
Sanborn goes on to discuss Six Principles of Leadership. I won’t get into all of them, but a few things I took away from his principles of leadership that can help anyone, leading from any place in life:
- He describes self transcendence like this: it is the connecting to something beyond self and helping others find fulfillment and realize their full potential. This explains what many of my friends and colleagues do on a daily basis working in allied health fields like personal training, physical therapy, and many others.
- Make time to think and focus on the things you can control.
- Do you really know what motivates the people who you lead or work with? Have you ever asked them?
- Mirror those who are successful around you.
- Mentor someone else.
- Integrity is measured between your lips and your life – you’ve got to follow through on your promises.
- Calling attention to a problem is called complaining. Solving a problem is harder, it requires leadership.
- Everything we accomplish happens not just because of our efforts but through the efforts of others.
- Leadership is power WITH people, not over people.
- Leaders exude competence by their actions, appearance, in everything they undertake.
- Confront problems, not people.
- You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself.
- The object of communication is understanding.
- Texans have a saying that describe posers as, “big hat, no cattle”. I love it!
I would recommend this book by Sanborn. It is a quick read to anyone looking to develop themselves personally or professionally. I will leave you with this quote from Henry Ford, who played a significant role in my grandfathers life:
“You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do”.