'Be a rockstar at work' says Robin Sharma

The hall was full of successful people who had paid about Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 a head to hear celebrity leadership expert and author Robin Sharma speak. And among the first things the author of books such as The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari' told them was, "Unsuccessful people are the ones who are impressed by celebrity, by people's names and titles."

Sharma was in Chennai on Friday, Feb 25 2011 to talk about Leading Without A Title', to tell people "how to be leaders and exceptional human beings". During his three-hour talk, the Canada-based author tried to help people reconnect with what was important to them in their businesses and their lives so that they could be more successful.

"Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It's about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers," he said.

The old model of leadership based on control and command is obsolete, is his opinion, and organisations continuing to cling to it will also soon be redundant. "There is a new model of leadership in the world that rides on the premise that every single person in the organisation can be a leader. Titles are important for structure and order but real power does not come from titles," he said. "It comes from bringing passion to the workplace by making each person realise his true potential. You can be the Lady Gaga of autodrivers or the Mick Jagger of the mailroom. Be a rockstar at work," he said, getting laughs and applause from the audience.

Robin with fans and followers (backdrop)

 "Managers develop organisations, leaders develop people," he said, as he prompted people to write down what he was saying and reflect on it later. "Connecting and collaborating is what Leadership 2.0 is about. You need to remind people at your workplace that each of them has a purpose and can be a leader if they work with focus and passion."

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