Much of my life has been a devotion to a simple expression: you can Lead Without a Title.
The old model of leadership taught us that to lead meant the need to have a formal position, high authority and a big office.
But we’re now in Leadership 2.0.
And if you want your organization to win. And if you want your craft to fly, you absolutely need to learn to show brilliant leadership without relying on a title [or needing one].
So, if–on this precious day of your massively important life–you’re amped/excited and set to learn:
- how the best leaders think
- ways to leap from victim to world-builder
- why growing more leaders is Job #1
- my popular “3 I Practice” for creating a culture of people who lead versus coast that has inspired my clients to scale great companies……then definitely watch this hot new Mastery Session with your team [or family]
Remember, what you do every day is x100 more important than what you do once a year.
And the finest leaders + the fastest performers all make the time to learn + grow daily. Why? Because as you know more you’ll achieve more. And as you become better, you’ll experience greater.
So definitely watch, study and then deconstruct [I’ll do a video sometime on how I deconstruct insights as it’s such a potent practice] this episode.
What is Leadership/How Great Leaders Think
Welcome to this Mastery Session which I know you’re going to love. Why? Because it’s all about leadership. I’ve spent so much of the past twenty years of my life evangelizing a message that leadership is not about a title. Leadership is not about the size of your office. Leadership is not about having formal authority. Leadership is a mindset. Leadership is a way of operating through your days. Leadership is a heart set. Leadership is a way of being. I think we’re now in Leadership 2.0.
The old model of leadership said you need to have a lot of money or you need to be a prime minister or a president. You need to be a CEO or a managing director in order to be a leader. Leadership 2.0 is fundamentally different. Leadership 2.0 simply says if you can breathe, if you are alive, you not only have the opportunity, you have the responsibility to show leadership. Not only in your work, not only in your creativity, not only in your impact, not only in your influence, but even in your personal life.
What I want to do in this Mastery Session – I’m thrilled that you’re here with me today. I want to walk you through a number of key protocols or thinking tools that will really help you become a leader without a title. The first one is really this. Leadership truly is a mindset. Let’s get right to the first tactic for you to be an even better leader.
1. Install the Lead Without A Title Mindset
Again, that’s just a way of thinking. It’s an approach. I have met a janitor in the Johannesburg airport who worked like Picasso painted. What I’m really suggesting is no matter what you do, no matter what your station in life is, start thinking like a leader because you really have a choice when you go out in the world everyday.
You can be victim or you can be a leader, but you can’t do both. The more you practice showing leadership in your work, showing leadership with your family, showing leadership in your community, showing leadership in your private self, practice drives performance. The more you practice it the more you start to step into the mindset of a leader without a title.
2. The Best Leaders On The Planet Grow Other Leaders
If you’re not growing leaders faster than your peers, you’re not leading. You’re following, I’m going to repeat that again. The job of the leader is to grow more leaders. Yes, do your work. Yes, become more creative. Yes, innovate. Yes, optimize your personal life. Yet, at the same time, make the time to develop leaders around you.
What that might look like at the office, celebrating a teammate. At the office that might look like modeling mastery. At the office, it might look like collaborating with someone who needs some collaboration. At home, what does growing leaders look like? It might be mentoring your children, exposing them to art, giving them great books. It might mean being a positive force in your home life. The job of the leader is to grow more leaders.
3. The “3 I Practice”
If you want to be a better leader, understand and then practice these 3 “I”s. Number one: Inspiration. The job of a leader really is to inspire other people. If you look at Steve Jobs, you look at Elon Musk, you look at Nelson Mandela, you look at Sergey Brin of Google, you look at a Rembrandt or a Picasso, these people were incredibly inspired. They were not only incredibly inspired. They were inspirational to other people.
There is that incredible story of Steve Jobs. A lot of people say Steve Jobs wasn’t a nice person. Yet, if you were to poll the former employees of Apple, they would say, ”My years at Apple working with Steve Jobs, were the single best years of my entire career.” You say, “Why?” They say, “Because he was inspirational.” When Steve Jobs was a young man or a young kid, his father said, “Go out and paint the fence,” outside of their house. Steve Jobs said, “No problem.” He went out and he started painting the outside of the fence.
A few hours later, his father comes out and says, “Steve, did you paint the fence?” Steve says, “I did, Dad.” Steve Jobs’ father inspects the fence. He says, “Steve, you did a great job painting the outside of the fence, but you didn’t paint the inside of the fence.” Steve Jobs looks up at his father and says, “But Dad, no one is going to see the inside of the fence.” His father looks at him and says, “But, Son, we will.”
Now, it’s many decades later. Steve Jobs is running Apple and they’re ready to launch or ready to develop rather, the first Apple Macintosh. He looks at his design team and he says, “Here’s your deliverable. I want the outside of the computer to look so simple, and so elegant, like a piece of art, but here is the real mission. Make the inside so beautiful that it’ll bring tears to our eyes.”
His design team looked at him and said, “But Steve, no one is going to see the inside of the Apple Macintosh.” Steve Jobs looked at his team and said, “But, we will.” That’s inspiration. I think the only title that really matters is CIO, Chief Inspirational Officer. No matter what you do whether you’re a teacher or a firefighter, an astronaut or an entrepreneur, maybe you’re a managing director. Maybe you’re a mother or father. Be the CIO of all you do.
The 2nd “I” of the “3 I Practice” to make you an amazing leader is Influence. You want to be so good at what you do that you influence other people. You want to use the words and the language of leadership versus victim-speak. You want to influence people by your mindset, by your heart set. You want to influence people by your thinking patterns. You want to influence people by your productivity. You want to influence people and that’s the job of a leader.
Then the 3rd “I” of this “3 I practice”: Impact. Less talk more do. No matter what your title is, you know you’re leading. You know you’re winning when you are creating impact. A lot of people in the world and victims love to do this. They talk about what they’re going to do. Here’s the project I’m going to launch. Here’s the marathon I’m going to run. Here’s the life I’m going to craft, but they don’t execute. Impact is about translating your ideas to execution.
4. The Quality Of Your Craft
Let me wrap up with two final things for you to become an amazing leader. The 4th thing to really focus on is The Quality Of Your Craft. Regardless of what you do, see yourself as a craft person. Be so great at your work, that when we watch you work, tears fill our eyes, like tears fill our eyes when we look at Michelangelo’s masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
This is an incredible opportunity because I think there is two economies out there. There is the global economy that everyone talks about. There is also something that I teach at the Titan Summit for example, which is your personal economy. If you start thinking about your personal economy, the craft that you birth into the world, the value that you deliver to your organization, your customers and all stakeholders and you say to yourself, “I will not release any work until it’s nothing less than world class.”
You develop a personal economy where the entire world or maybe it’s your entire industry starts to view you as legendary. Then while the rest of the global economy is in acute disruption, people are losing their jobs, people are being laid off, the world beats a path to your door because the world always wants the best. The marketplace pays for mastery.
Then the final thing that amazing leaders do, and again, you don’t have to have a title, so don’t give away your power and say, “Well, I’m going to just resign myself to mediocrity because I’m not the boss around here.” You can be in a frontline so-called employee and be so great at what you do that your behavior and your performance goes viral across the organization. It goes viral across the marketplace because you’re a merchant of wow. That’s actually the right thing to do. It’ll allow you to go to sleep every night with a clear conscience. You’ll feel so great about yourself. Of course, the organization is just going to watch you fly.
5. Build Relationships
The final way to be an amazing leader is to build relationships. I’ll leave you with this brain tattoo. Focus on the relationships and the money will take care of itself or I’ll put it to you this way. Take care of the relationships and the human connections and the income will take care of itself. We live in a world where there has almost been a commoditization of humanity.
I was in a store yesterday. It was just a human interaction where I picked up something. I walked up to the counter. The manager of the store and I knew he was the manager of the store because unbelievably, he had a picture of himself with a frame and his name underneath it, a little bit of ego there, but I’m not judging. I’m just reporting. Here are two human beings interacting. I believe that every interaction is a moment of truth. You get to live your values and model mastery when you meet that other human being or you don’t.
I’m just sharing with you he didn’t look me in the eye. He didn’t say, “Hello.” He didn’t say, “Welcome to the store.” He literally took what I bought, processed my credit card. Another person came to the counter at the same time and he pretty much just handed me the receipt for my credit card without any acknowledgement. He didn’t even say, “Thank you.”
Now, that was an opportunity to lead. That was an opportunity to wow. He could have made me laugh. He could have connected. He could have made the world a little bit better while making his store even better. Then I would have come back every time because he would have solidified that human connection because we do business with people we like. That was a moment not only to show mastery. It was not only a moment to show ingenuity. It was not only a moment to have a human connection. It was not only a moment to grow his business by building a relationship. It was a moment to show a tiny act of love.
I’ll leave you with this. The world needs more love. The world needs more leadership. Please do not resign yourself to any form of mediocrity by saying, “Robin, I can’t lead.” You’re alive. You have power. You might not know it. Go lead. Thanks so much.
What is Leadership/How Great Leaders Think
P.S You Deserve to Live a Life that AMAZES People.
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