I interviewed Robin Sharma, Globally Celebrated Author as part of the Leadership Unleashed series of interviews with leaders.
Watch a short clip of my interview with Robin Sharma.
It is hard to know where to start when determining how Robin Sharma has shaped my thinking on leadership. About ten years ago I was fortunate enough to have been exposed to his book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – the bestseller that shot Robin to fame and has sold millions of copies around the world. Since then I continue to learn from, and be inspired by, Robin through an almost daily diet of his blog, vlogs, podcasts and subsequent books on leadership.
My experience is shared by people across the globe. Robin is ranked in the top 5 (along with Jim Collins, Jack Welch and John Maxwell) of the world’s leadership experts by leadershipgurus.net. Pretty impressive reach when you consider he grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia.
If you have heard of Robin Sharma then you’ll be excited to learn that The Saint John Board of Trade is showing great leadership by bringing Robin, a world class speaker, to town tomorrow to share his inspiring visiondave, robin cropped.jpg of ‘leading without title’ with our business community. If you are not familiar with Robin and his message, then I’d highly encourage you to see him live – you will not be disappointed.
I recently had the privilege of asking Robin about authoring bestselling books, leaving his career as a lawyer and what he’s learning as he consults and speaks to leaders around the world. Here are his thoughts on “blocking out the noise and crafting an exceptional life . . .”
Dave: I’ve made a point of re-reading The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and I’m struck by how much it still resonates with me after over 10 years. When you were writing this book, did you have any sense of what a classic it would become?
Robin: I really am so humbled by how The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari has become such an inspirational classic around the world. It started off as a self-published book at a Kinko’s copy shop. My mom was my editor and my father helped me sell it at Rotary Clubs. I still remember the boxes of books in my small apartment’s kitchen. But people read it – and then told everyone they knew about it. What’s best for me is all the people the book has helped to create exceptional business and personal lives.
[Tweet “My mom was my editor and my father helped me sell it at Rotary Clubs. “]
Dave: What compelled you to leave your career as a lawyer and to devote your career, and life, to working in the organizational and personal leadership space?
Robin: I’ve always been very committed to trying to improve myself so I could fully express my best. Over a decade ago I was a successful but unhappy litigation lawyer. So I started working on myself. I learned some very powerful ideas and tactics that really revolutionized my mindset and way of being. I thought that if an ordinary person from a small town in Nova Scotia could make such a transformation in his life, I should write about it and share the tools I learned with other people. So I wrote The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. With the success of that book, I started writing other books and that led to me forming a leadership consultancy. Now, my entire professional life is devoted to helping people in businesses around the world “Lead Without a Title” and do their best work.
Dave: You are in a unique position to interact frequently with leaders around the world. As you listen to the leadership challenges people are confronting, do you see any patterns emerging? If so, what are the patterns and how are leaders overcoming these challenges?
Robin: Yes, I think many leaders are struggling with the same things. We live in a world where it’s really easy to be busy doing nothing. And majoring in minor things. In The Leader Who Had No Title, my new book, I teach people how to block out the noise and focus on doing genius-level work and crafting an exceptional life. Because life’s just too short to waste it getting seduced by unimportant things.
[Tweet “In my new book, I teach people how to block out the noise and focus on doing genius-level work.”]
Dave: What is in the message ‘lead without title’ that seems to strike such a cord with people? What kind of reaction are you getting to this message?
Robin: Globally, the response to The Leader Who Had No Title and the “Lead Without a Title” message I’ve been sharing with organizations has been overwhelming. What I’m really sharing is “Leadership 2.0”. The old model of leadership is broken. Now, for a business or a person to really succeed, we need to show leadership at every level. Whether you are a taxi driver or a CEO, we all need to lead and innovate and work at wow. Gandhi said it well: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Dave: What is your advice on how a leader can help his or her organization embrace the philosophy of ‘leading without title’?
Robin: Lead By Example, Be inspirational-not just excellent, Focus on deep relationships, Deliver outrageous value, Be ridiculously competent, Leave a trail of leaders behind you.
Dave: As you consider your upcoming trip to Atlantic Canada, what do you see as the opportunities available to the leaders of this region?
Robin: To really develop “Lead Without a Title” cultures.
Dave Veale is a business and leadership coach and founder of Vision Coaching Inc. in Saint John. He can be reached by email at Dave@VisionCoachingInc.com. Tweet him @dave_veale. His column appears every other Thursday.
Published Tuesday October 19, 2010 in the Telegraph Journal
Photo: From http://www.robinsharma.com