Apr 2, 2011

The "real" leader

The title of this book piqued my interest - "The leader who had no title". Having liked Robin Sharma's "The monk who sold his Ferrari", I picked up this book sometime last year. After reading around 30 odd pages, I wasn't eager to continue simply because of the similar plotline to begin with - A guy who is down and out meets someone who has really made a difference to his career and life. A different start would have made this book much more gripping.

I have this reputation of being a good finisher. I can't leave unfinished books behind. I don't know if it's a good attribute to have or not. But I decided to give this book one more try. After crossing the initial hurdle, I should say that this book is one of the simplest books on leadership.

The protagonist Blake meets Tommy who in turn takes him to four unique leaders - a housekeeper of a hotel, a skier, a gardener and a massage therapist. Leadership can be exhibited by anyone, not just by people with fancy titles. In reality, the titles make the natural leadership instincts marred by ego. During his interaction with these four leaders, Blake learns the four leadership principles along with rules to apply these principles.

Out of these four meetings, I liked the interaction with Jackson, the gardener the most. The third principle also strikes a chord from my experiences - "the deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership". Many simple truths interspersed throughout the book makes you want to take a pause and reflect on how you had dealt with in a given situation. Every principle comes along with a few rules framed as nice acronyms. The initial rules of a principle are explained clearly whereas the latter rules don't get much attention. If you would like to read a simple tale on leadership, pick up this book.

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