Our interview with global expert, speaker and author on leadership – Robin Sharma
“Know that change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end” – Robin Sharma shares this thoughts on leadership.
With 15 international bestselling books (including ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ and ‘The Greatness Guide’), published in over 62 countries, Robin Sharma is considered one of the top authors and speakers in the world on leadership and success. The Canadian travels the globe consulting companies and speaking to audiences on how to ‘Lead Without A Title’. I was delighted to be able to ask Robin a few questions earlier this week:
Robin, from your travels around the world over the last 18-24 months, what issues are most important to organisations, teams and individuals regarding leadership and personal development?
In the past 24 months I’ve probably spoken in about 40 countries to mid to large companies. The same kinds of themes come up: how do we engage our people, how can we multiply productivity dramatically, what do we do to grow the culture so people show less apathy and deliver more responsibility, what do the best do to improve initiative and innovation and how do we get our team on fire to wow customers, get big things done and build an awesome business. I love helping clients achieve these imperatives. And it’s not as hard to get there as many think.
The challenges most firms face across the world are big: incredible amounts of distraction, ferocious competition, expectation to do more with less, economic and geo-political instability.
But this is also a gorgeous time to win in business! Victims are frightened by change yet leaders get inspired by it. Here are a few of the concepts I teach that help our clients dominate their industries, many drawn from my international bestseller ‘The Leader Who Had No Title’:
- Your #1 competitive advantage is growing leaders at EVERY level faster than your competition. Why? Because the fastest way to build your company is to build your people. Period. You can’t have an A-Level Company with people performing at B-Levels.
- ‘Lead Without a Title’. Just imagine if every employee at your company shifted from being a victim to behaving like a leader in their work? We’re now in what I call “Leadership 2.0”. You can lead without a title. Because leadership’s less about a title or a position and more a mindset. Leadership’s about getting giant things done fast. Leadership’s about being world-class in your work (even if you clean toilets or sweep streets). Leadership’s about being positive and passionate versus a naysayer and a critic. Leadership’s about leaving a trail of more leaders behind you through your mentoring and example. We all can–and need to–lead.
I could go on but you get the idea of my approach. We all have the power to do fantastic work, make a contribution and influence others. That’s real Leadership. And the companies that embrace the ‘Lead Without a Title’ methodology I’ve been teaching to The FORTUNE 500 for the past decade inevitably become market leaders and unbeatable. And they have a fun time doing it. Because everyone craves to be a part of something special.
Your first book – ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ – is a fantastic fable about taking back control and start living the life you want to live. For people who feel like they’ve lost a sense of control over their career/life, what can they do to begin to reclaim the feeling that they’re in the drivers seat?
Here are some of the hard-hitting tactics I teach at my events (no soft stuff here, just strategies that work):
- The 90/90/1 Rule: for the next 90 days, build a routine to spend your first 90 minutes at work ONLY on your single biggest opportunity to make a contribution to your organization. No email checking. No web surfing. No Facebook gazing. Just 90 minutes of real work versus fake work on your #1 opportunity. Do this and you’ll become legendary at your company.
- The 20/20/20 Formula. The way you begin your day dramatically influences how you live your day. You’re an athlete – so you want to get your one-hour of practice in before you start your workday. This primes your mindset and focus for an epic day. And a series of epic days become an epic life.
The Spartan warrior creed goes like this: “sweat more in practice, bleed less at war.”
Ok. So the first 20 minutes go to exercise. Just a game-changer to exercise for your first 20 minutes. Your brain gets optimised, focus expands, stress goes down and energy goes up. Then spend 20 minutes reviewing your game plan and daily schedule. You might even re-write your goals in your journal to lock them in and ignite the subconscious mind. The final 20 minutes of this pre-game ritual is to learn. Learning is another game changer! It inspires, allows for better decisions and continues you on the process toward mastery of your craft. And we all can aim for mastery.
Do this 20/20/20 routine every morning for 30 days and you’ll completely elevate your performance.
You speak a lot about leadership. How can we be a leader in what we do?
Mastering this mindset will help you become a leader in what you do:
- No excuses, more results.
- Less blame, more results.
- Remember that a problem is only a problem when seen as a problem.
- Dream big, start small, begin now.
- Take care of the relationships and the money takes care of itself.
- Know that change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.
- Do your work like Picasso painted.
- Remember that you’re paid to energize your company, not to be an energy vampire.
Most people today appear to be distracted easily and time poor. What are a couple of things people can do to make the most of the 24 hours that they have at their disposal each day?
- Get up at 5 am. Most of the productive elite do. According to The University College of London, it takes about 66 days to wire in a new habit. Then it becomes easier to do the new skill than not to do it. So in about 66 days, after the discomfort of the habit installation, you’re up at 5 am–easily. This gives you 3 golden hours with very little distraction. Use them well and you’re going to 10X your results (and your personal life).
- Learn to say no is another key tactic. Steve Jobs said he was more proud of the things Apple said no to than the things that they did. All epic performers are minimalists. And they get that the secret to genius is simplicity.
- The Daily 5 is another superb strategy. Get 5 micro-wins done every day and that’s 150 victories in a month and 1,850 in a year. And it’s not just the 1,850 little acts of excellence achieved but what getting them done creates within your mindset, confidence and momentum.
When you’re speaking at a conference, what are some of the key messages the audience can expect to hear?
You can lead without a title. Because leadership’s not about the size of your office. It’s about the strength of your commitment, the quality of your work and the footprint of your impact on your organization…and on the world at large.
About the author: Keith Harwood is Managing Partner and founder of Inspire Speakers providing companies with inspiring keynote speakers, expert trainers and professional MC’s for their events and conferences. Feel free to connect on LinkedIn or contact Keith on 0450 077 997.