E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

The Leader Who Had No Title

Gran Canaria - Presa de Ayagaures & Surroundings ...We are almost at the end of another rather interesting and action packed week in the Social Computing space with lots of interesting things happening all over the place and here I am, about to wrap up with another intense week at work, putting together a few lines in this blog post to share one of those wonderful golden nuggets that one bumps into, every so often, on the Internet, in this case, YouTube, once again. Have you watched "The Leader Who Had No Title"? … You should, if you haven’t.

It’s a two minute short video clip that helps introduce Robin Sharma‘s latest book with the same title: "The Leader Who Had No Title" and, as you may have been able to guess, it deals with the subject of Leadership. But not the kind of leadership we have been accustomed to over the course of the last few decades, but a new kind of leadership. The one from the 21st century. The one where you don’t need any kind of title, nor diploma, nor certification to justify you *are* a leader. Quite the opposite!

Now, I haven’t read the book just yet, but after watching that YouTube video, I surely will. It’s already on my growing reading list (For when I get my hands on an 3G iPad – Yeah, I will blog about that one at some point, too! Yes, indeed, I’ll be getting one as soon as they are available over here!) and I can tell you I just can’t wait to get my hands on it. Why? Mainly because if the video is truthful to the book content I bet it’s going to be a superb reading.

From what I have been seeing in multiple places, I’m certain it would be that kind of book that would be helpful, and inspirational, for those folks, like myself, who have been claiming that Social Computing is helping shape not only the way we do business, but also change who we are, the societies we belong to, and the interconnected networks we are part of. In short, for those folks who keep claiming that social computing is changing the way we behave with each other, the way we live, the way we would want to leave a mark in this world in a completely different way that whatever we may have done in the recent past. Yes, that powerful!

Ha! And all of that without having read the book just yet! But, I mean, with quotes like these that I have taken out of the video clip, I guess we won’t have much of a choice, right? If not, judge for yourself:

"Business is transforming; Society is being reinvented; And people are taking back their power"

Or this other one:

"[…] And today, every single one of us has got the opportunity to make a difference; […] You need no title to show real leadership"

What do you think? Wouldn’t those quotes entice you enough to get your hands on a copy of the book and read through it back and forth and get the most out of it? No? Really? Well, have a look into the video clip, watch through the absolutely wonderful and rather inspiring references throughout and then let me know what you think…

Obviously, once I get a copy of the book in my hands I will be reading through it and perhaps follow up with a blog post over here, where I will share my thoughts about it, but so far, just the title clearly describes how I have always felt about today’s Leadership, and, most importantly, that of tomorrow. The one from the generations to come; the one we are already starting to experience in the business world and elsewhere. The one that will help us lead the way as responsible human beings, once again, into the 21st century and beyond… Goodness, I do hope the book delivers… Has anyone out there already read it? Will it match, and keep up with, the expectations I have just shared above? I would love to know …

Have a good one everyone!

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  1. Luis – I’m going to go out on a limb here and respond without having read the book, and without even looking at the video (cause it’s 2:00 a.m. here in Southern California and my wife and kids are asleep and this is a subject near and dear to my heart).

    As you may or may not recall, I am involved with a group of people who are students of, among others, W. Edwards Deming and Russell Ackoff. Drs. Deming and Ackoff were both proponents of greater democratization of the workplace. We often use the phrase “lead from where you are”, meaning don’t wait until you’re in a position of authority to do something positive. Take the initiative now.

    This does present some problems, though. For instance, I have been told there are three types of authority: Technical, Moral, and Positional. I was once told I had the first two and, therefore, didn’t need the third. This was, to a great extent, true. However, not having the third did present one major problem. Along with not having the positional authority came not having a budget.

    Nevertheless, if I’m getting the drift of where this concept is going (and I’m basing my understanding on conversations we’ve had, etc.), I think this concept is extremely important to how we’re going to go about getting things done in the future, as well as how that change is going to come about. I think what you’re getting at here is something that can make today’s Managers and Executives very nervous, especially in a traditionally command and control environment.

    This is a deep and contentious subject, I’m sure. There’s a lot more involved than we can discuss on this one page, or at this one moment, but I hope I do understand what you and Sharma are getting at (even without reading the book :). I look forward to seeing how this all plays out. Actually, I look forward to manning the virtual barricades and helping make it happen as I’d like to see it. Thanks for bringing up another provocative subject.


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