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Tuesday, December 04, 2012


The Titleless Leader by Nan S. Russell - Book review

The Titleless Leader

How to Get Things Done When You're Not in Charge

By: Nan S. Russell

Published: May 22, 2012
Format: Paperback, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1601632088
ISBN-13: 978-1601632081
Publisher: Career Press

"We can continue the de-motivating spiral of self-indulgent, unaligned leaders, or we can decide to create tomorrow's workplaces with a new kind of leadership", writes speaker, workplace consultant, and acclaimed columnist, radio host and blogger, Nan S. Russell, in her empowering and no nonsense book The Titleless Leader: How to Get Things Done When You're Not in Charge. The author describes the aligning and transformational concept of the titleless leader as a profound solution to the dysfunctional and counterproductive leadership found in all too many disengaged workplaces.

Nan Russell understands that there is much more to the dynamic of leadership than simply holding an official title. For the author, the title is not what gets the results, it's the actions of the leader that makes all of the difference. Nan Russell lists the crucial elements that the titleless leader must possess to achieve positive results. Those qualities are trust, compassion, stability, and hope. The author presents these uncommon behaviors as essential for the leader without rank, who seeks to propel the organization forward. These behaviors are delivered by the effective titleless leader along with what the author calls the cornerstones of self-alignment, possibility seeds, soul-courage, and winning philosophies.

Nan Russell (photo left) recognizes that the modern workplace is in transition as it evolves into a new and potentially exciting form. The author points out that the leader must change along with the transformation of the workplace to remain aligned with organizational goals in order to remain effective. Nan Russell examines real leadership, that doesn't depend upon a title or rank, but on integrity, positive actions, inner work and reflection. The author offers the concept of the titleless leader as one who practices uncommon behaviors, gets exceptional results, and helps build a successful future.

Nan Russell also shares the strategies, techniques, and practices to incorporate the principles into one's own leadership and into the workplace. To provide a workable and understandable framework for developing titleless leadership in oneself and in others, Nan Russell divides the book into three overarching sections. Each of the three parts is subdivided into the practices and tactics for making tltleless leadership a reality in today's cynical and trust starved workplaces. The three basic sections are as follows:

* From the outside: What does it look like?
* From the inside: How does it happen
* From the practical side: When?

For me, the power of the book is how Nan Russell combines the overall theory and principles of titleless leadership, with the practical and hands on techniques for learning and putting the concepts into action. The author not only proposes a new type of leadership, based in behavior and principles, but also explains why that leadership transformation is essential for organizational success. Nan Russell understands very well the need for leaders to have their own actions aligned with those of the firm. Unfortunately, this alignment has been missing from the supposed leaders who carry with them the titles and official authority.

In their place, Nan Russell presents a fresh manifesto for real leadership to emerge within organizations, regardless of official sanction or rank, and reestablish that important alignment of vision and actions. The loss of trust in the existing and failed leadership has resulted in disengaged employees, dissatisfied customers, and badly performing companies. The titleless leader is one way to empower people to do the right thing, and show the courage to reengage the workforce, and rebuilt that eroded trust.

I highly recommend the straight talking and engagement rebuilding book The Titleless Leader: How to Get Things Done When You're Not in Charge by Nan S. Russell, to any potential leaders within any organization, who seek to reestablish alignment of vision and behavior, to bring back trust, and to recreate the company as a whole. This book is a real call to action for anyone who is willing to step forward, take the titleless leadership challenge, and build a winning philosophy within an aligned and successful company.


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