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on December 22, 2017
Note: I wrote this as part of a book review series I started at my workplace.

Sounds nice on paper, but I don’t have a leadership title and I don’t really want one.
Sure, not everyone wants or needs to be a Leader with a capital L, but this book is about what author Mark Sanborn calls “little l” leadership. What is “little l” leadership? According to Sanborn, “It is about the small things each of us can do every day to positively influence our customers, our colleagues, our friends, and our communities.” If you have a desire to make the world a better place for the people around you, that’s “little l” leadership. No need to use a megaphone, give a PowerPoint presentation, stand at a podium, or any of those other stereotypical “capital L” leadership things you may dread doing.

I already have a leadership title. Guess I can skip this book.
Hang on! Titled leaders are included, too! Anyone in any position, titled or not, can learn something here about what makes a good leader. Even if you’re already familiar with all the principles presented in this book, it never hurts to have a refresher course. In fact, going back to the basics can be a crucial step in rejuvenating your work if you’ve let yourself get buried in the daily grind of all the boxes that need to be checked and have lost sight of the important influence you can have over your staff.

There are about a gazillion leadership books out there. What makes this one worth reading?
First of all, it’s short! At only 128 pages, You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader doesn’t ramble on and on with lots of cases studies or beat around the bush with repetitive filler. It gets right to the point about the basic essentials of leadership and is therefore a very easy, accessible read. (Plus, it makes a great gift book!)

Second, this book speaks to a much broader audience than the typical business leadership book. You won’t find any insider tips on how to increase your company’s bottom line or maximize worker productivity or develop strategies for long-term business growth. Instead, Sanborn talks more generally about the ways all of us can use leadership skills to create positive outcomes for the people we interact with on a daily basis.

Third, You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader is timeless. Although it was first published over ten years ago, its principles are still very relevant and applicable today because they are not based on passing industry trends or economic climates. Making a positive difference in the world will never become obsolete.

Okay, cool. So how can I practice “little l” leadership in my daily work?
If I tell you, I will spoil the whole book because it’s not very long! To give you a bird’s-eye view, though, Sanborn discusses six principles of leadership: self-mastery, focus, people, persuasive communication, execution, and giving. He shares stories of people who have used these principles effectively as well as a list of actions the reader can try for putting each principle into practice. Of course, Sanborn is not the first author to write about these principles, but as I said before, what makes this book a worthwhile read is that he cuts out all the business jargon, boiling leadership down to the most important essentials. The author’s definition of true leadership is “an invitation to greatness that we extend to others.” Simple yet profound, no?
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on November 12, 2017
A must read for anyone who wants to improve themselves. This book made a lot of the concepts simple and easy to understand. The most important thing is that the book read easily. It's not written for someone with higher education with fancy vocabulary. It was written so that I even understand it.
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on December 3, 2015
This book is wonderful for those trying to find their place in the world. Everyone is a leader, regardless of a title, and I love how Mark Sanborn relates this message through wonderfully real stories of people's lives. This is a great read and I finished every chapter feeling empowered. I loved it.
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on September 13, 2013
As the title states, being a leader has nothing to do with a title, and everything to do with attitude, action and execution. It's more about being out front, not managing, but leading by your attitude and service, by your commitment. A number of ideas to help me to continue to develop my leadership skills, not just in my professional life, but in my personal life as well. I highly recommended this book for leaders both old and new.
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on June 16, 2017
I read anything Mark Sanborn - love his methods
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on February 16, 2018
great book
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on November 4, 2017
My company asked us to read the book and absolutely recommend it for everyone! It's a short, interesting read with lots of helpful tips.
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on May 14, 2014
This was a quick and to the point book about key individual attributes that can make anyone successful regardless of title or position. All individuals entering the workforce could greatly benefit from reading this book. Existing managers and leaders will get reenergized on ideas that may have been forgotten. The story about the pony for Christmas was a great reminder on how to respond to a situation or challenge in a very positive way.
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on August 23, 2014
I bought this a few years ago for my son, he used it along with some other teachings, then found the Lord and all is good!!
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on October 15, 2013
there are many good and positive ideas on how to lead without being over bearing and rude .There are also plenty of quotes from various authors worth pondering ..... I would recommend to anyone who deals with multitudes' of personalities on a daily basis this quick read
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