As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.
You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader, subtitled: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference by Mark Sanborn, grabbed me as soon as I saw the title, because I agree that a person can be a leader regardless of his or her official position. I worked with people who didn’t have a title yet clearly had knowledge, responsibility, and the ability to teach me what I needed to know to do my job. Some of those people, in fact, most of the individuals, had more of an eye for what was going on in the business than those who had official titles. So I was eager to read this book, to see what it could teach me.
However, I was disappointed in the examples Mr. Sanborn gave. The people certainly made a positive difference. But they became leaders and made a difference in their work or communities because they already had the respect and recognition of their potential leadership skills from people in positions of authority who were willing and able to give them a lot of support. The people didn’t do it alone; mentors stood by to give them advice, help them untangle red tape, donate money or time, or mention their names to other people who could help.
To me, this book showed that anyone can make a positive difference–the qualifiers being: if the person works for people who respect and value anybody’s ideas, regardless of his or her job, or if the person has a powerful mentor willing to step up to the plate.
I’m sure this book has value for many people. For me, it doesn’t, so it’s going in the donation pile.