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To lead without a title? No, to do good deeds without expectation is better

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I listened to Robin Sharma's speech yesterday and thought I'd share my opinion with you all...


During his opening speech, he mentioned the fact he is now a Mauritian just like us and I thought it was cheesy to say something like this. Citizenship is one thing but to become a true citizen, you need to embrace the culture, the tradition and values of the country. You should feel it in your heart and when that happens, there's no need to even tell anyone about it because others will be able to sense it...

A true master adapts his teaching and methods to the individual because each person learns differently. The speech was aimed at youngsters but I thought the message would only be understood by a more mature audience. Telling a student to wake up at 5am and spend the first 20 minutes exercising, the next 20 minutes to learn and the third 20 minutes to plan your day is foolish. The very first thing to do has been raised to such a difficult level that you would ignore it even before trying.

I found he stated the obvious quite a lot of times. For example, he said to be extra prepared for your class which undoubtedly leads to excellence or to be so passionate about what you do, which again attracts success. Surely anyone with common sense will know these things...

Of course he mentioned some good points such as :

  • Starting the first 1.5 hours of your day at work doing your job instead of chatting, checking your email etc because that's the period when you're most productive
  • Not to give in to peer pressure
  • To prevent distractions such as technology to get in control of your life
  • To aspire and work hard for your dreams

...but the key takeaway was "to lead without a title". Now I wouldn't really use those words because the very word "lead" is associated with power. You're the big boss and there are people under you. That's not what he's trying to say. A leader always has a title, the class rep, the CEO, the manager and the title makes them feel superior; it has to anyway because society has created all these divisions amongst ourselves.

Do good deeds without expectation

I believe "To lead without a title" should be replaced with "To do good deeds without expectation" but then this is no longer an enticing title. Who's going to attend a conference on doing good deeds without any expectations; who wants to do charity; what's in it for you. There you see, the ego is not satisfied but the mere presence of the word "lead" draws you to the event. The mind likes to be in control and so do you...maybe without realising it.

I remember a beautiful story he was telling...that of an Irish man who would load up his van in the morning regularly and drive to Romania (or some other European country) to feed the poor. Nobody knew what he was up to but when he died, the whole colony (nearly 50,000 people) from that country came for his funeral. That's the whole point - you shouldn't do things when people are watching just to get recognition for your actions but you should do good things because you want to.

Anyone can be a leader, he said. Those quiet leaders, the ones who do not have a title tag attached to them. You can be one of them, and maybe after your death, society will notice you were a great man. Maybe! But to me personally, you shouldn't aspire to be a leader, because that will take away the beauty of serving others.

Could that not so obvious message be understood by those young people who were more interested debating whether he has a flat butt?

PS: If you decide to comment which I encourage, please do it in regards to the actual speech, overlooking the political reason behind it.

gices Published 04 Aug 2013


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MikeSin 04 Aug 2013

I concur regarding nationality. Many foreigners have acquired Mauritian nationality but will never truly be a Mauritian. If you are not born and brought up in a place any document will not change that fact. You can only hope and work towards integration. I have to chuckle at some of RS's inspirational advice to the young. They sound like some of the things I heard in management courses. RS thinks you should be up early, well ok but what I have to say to that young RS is that I used to be at work at 6am. People nowadays have problems getting to work at 9am. So leadership is just a matter of self-discipline which many have problems with in this consumer society. The message is: get out there and work.

gices 05 Aug 2013

You are the perfect example of someone who's rightly earned the Mauritian citizenship :)

Kurt_Avish 04 Aug 2013

Nice Post Gices! We posted something about it too yesterday:

I sincerely feel that whatever Robin Sharma preaches is nothing more than common sense and people do not need a GURU to think properly or to develop some self awareness. For me, while I respect his "business" (everyone need to earn money to live right?), he is nothing more than someone who got lucky and make BIG $$$ over the passive nature of naive people.

Talking about naive people, well there was a hot discussion last night on the FB wall of Island Crisis where a certain N.R was all in to insult our readers just to defend Robin Sharma. He eventually even threatened us via private message to take down everything since he is a great fan of Robin Sharma and cannot accept that we have an opposing opinion. Well, since he started to talk about legal issues (without even knowing anything about it), I had to change my tone from the cool moderator to the bold person for a while and he finally deleted all his comments.

All the while I was thinking, so the guy is a fan of Robin Sharma and he even attended the conference, but weirdly his reactions (he does not even know what an online discussion is and cannot tolerate anything against his idol), his reactions made me wonder: Is this the cheap mentality that Robin Sharma preaches to followers like him?

He is the one who sent an anonymous letter (as blog post) to another blogger (à bon entendeur, salut!) today BTW. Le N.R apparently even got angry that "the blogger" shared our status. Mince!

gices 05 Aug 2013

Hey Kurt, thanks for dropping by :)

I find it shocking that in this day and age, people will believe anything others say without a tiny bit of skeptism.

Goes to show you why the country is in such a deplorable state...

anonymousIRC 07 Aug 2013

by leading without title robin sharma means that everyone can lead/succeed irrespective of their title
and the thing that he said about waking up early , planning the day and studying is to have the mindset of an elite performer because by doing these things can really make the youngster productive .
he is a leadership and success coach , he didn't come all the way to Mauritius and waste his time in speaking nonsense.the sad thing is that many people so not reflect on these words of wisdom said.

gices 07 Aug 2013

To lead without a title is misleading and I've explained it all above, please read my post with an open mind.

Do you see college students waking up at 5am? I don't. That's why I said the speech was targeted at a more mature audience who can understand the benefits.

So you "reflected on those words of wisdom", right? If you want to be a leader, then you have to accept a position of authority, of control, a certain quality which sets you apart from the common crowd. You think a title matters now? No, your ego is contented because you're having power after all. That's why you have to be careful when speaking to young people. You need to choose your words carefully.

He mentioned something along those lines "at the end of your life, it's all down to 2 things : what kind of life you've led and how many lives you've served". So let me ask you, if I have whole-heartedly helped only one person in my life and someone else has served 150 people without meaning it, who do you think will have better karma? It's the same as giving a beggar some money because you feel compelled to or you think it's a good action which will rewarded at some other point in your life; good deeds have to come from within and without any selfish motive whatsoever.

hina 10 Oct 2013

i got something to say regarding college students
am a college student n everyday i wake up before five.
n got many frnds who do so since form one! so, do not generalize ,

gices 10 Oct 2013

@hina : So you and your friends are in the minority. Very good! But the majority of youngsters do not wake up at or before 5am and when generalising, you go with the highest percentage not vice versa.

anonymous_4 13 Aug 2013

He tends to tell people things which are already known but which are generally ignored. Eating good foods, being disciplined, organize one's life, exercising, breathe properly be calm; all of these are simple and yet people are too busy to put them into practice.

You're right. He teaches the obvious. The advice is here. It's up to the young blood to put them into practice.