How to be a Compensation leader – even without a title

Robin Sharma was in Abu Dhabi recently and I attended his seminar “Lead without a title” with my team… and a few hundred more people. Robin is the author of  The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and The Leader Who Had No Title among other best-sellers, and delivered an interesting performance on (self ) empowerment in work and life.

He is a great speaker who masters all the right techniques to engage his audience : few slides, with few words so that you focus on him not the screen. Activities to do with the people sitting next to you so that you start to appply some of the concepts he mentions (and it does not feel too passive). Great voice control, from whispering to highly nergetic. Clever use of storytelling, either through him speaking or by video. Appeal to logic and emotion. Repeating the more important sentences 3 or 4 times to fully emphasize the message. Interjecting a bit of humour. All perfect, maybe even a bit too polished – I wonder how many times he has delivered the exact same speech ?

But beyond the mastery of the speaking techniques, the message was an inspiring one. Of course it was not geared specifically towards Compensation & Benefits folks, but the advice applies to all, junior or senior in the organisation so I thought I would share 🙂

After mentioning that people on average spend more time planning their vacation than thinking about their goals, he urged us to think about what we really want to achieve.

He spoke about the difference between real work and busy work. Conquer you addition to distraction as distraction and interruptions eat more than 2 hours of our life every day. There is no need to check email constantly ! Give people the gift of presence, your presence.

We should be aware of our inner saboteur : as a child, we are taught to fit in and that creates a fear of success as we would stand out if we are successful. So we focus on busy work during our most valuable hours. As a result “most people live the same year over and over 75 times, and call it a life”.

Think about how you want to be remembered at the end of your life, your dreams, your values. Who did you become ? You need to express your talent. And how many lives did you help ? Once you find out what is going to be the most important for you at the end of your life, then… make it the most important now – or you risk repeating yourself over and over again for 75 years without becoming fully self-expressed and achieving what is truly essential to you.

We  also fear that if we achieve our goals, we will have to change. But “the discomfort of change is always better than the heartbreak of stagnation”. As Robin put it, if you’re not feeling uncomfortable at least once a day, you are not making much progress – this is very true, because how do we learn ? Through doing new things, and of course these take us out of our comfort zone. So think about it : the work you’re avoiding may be the one with the most growth for you… Remember that “potential unexpressed turns to pain”.

Robin also shared some productivity tips with the audience, to help on the way to realising our dreams and true goals :

  1. Join the 5 o’clock club : get up early and focus on yourself. Do the daily 5 : What 5 things do you need to do today to make it a productive day (don’t forget the “little wins”) ? And at the end of the day, do the nightly 5 : what are 5 good things that happened to you today ?
  2. Spend one hour per day without stimulation (TV, radio, internet, games….). This is needed for the brain to function properly and not become overloaded with information. Robin was adamant that the advice was actually based on neuroscience, not psychology, and he showed some research results supporting the recommendation.
  3. Work in 90 minutes cycles + 10 minutes recovery (also based on neuroscience).
  4. Get fit like Madonna
  5. Eat less food
  6. Get more done
  7. Get a massage once a week to help reduce the stress and prolong a healthy life. He actually commanded the UAE for offering easy access to such activities, and for having so many residents that take taking care of oneself seriously.

Finally, I would like to share a bunch of great leadership quotes from the seminar (with thanks to my colleague Zouhair for helping collect them), because you don’t need a title to be a leader, as “you are the CEO of your own job”.

  • Leadership is about 3 things: inspiration, influence, and impact.
  • People may forget what you said, people may forget what you do, but they won’t forget how you made them feel.
  • Don’t fall in love with the way you think.  Learn to take risks.
  • If you cannot motivate, no one sees you as a leader.
  • The best way for people to listen to you is for you to listen to them.
  • How good are you depends on what you do when no one is watching.
  • Leadership is about impact no about money.
  • Provoke people to do jobs they never thought of doing.
  • Leave people better than you find them.
  • If you lose conversation with your team you lose business.
  • A job is an opportunity to show human talent (to influence others)
  • Victims make excuses, leaders deliver results.
  • Small daily improvements over time create extraordinary results.
  • Focus is more important than intelligence.
  • Work on your career not in your career.
  • Your job as a leader is to leave a trail of leaders.
  • Delegation is firing oneself.
  • Victims love entertainment, leaders love education.
  • Real recreation is supposed to recreate you.
  • What the victim calls genius the leader calls practice. ( It took me 30 years to doing it in 30 seconds)
  • Shift from Command and Control to Connect and Create.
  • Don’t derive power from your title but from the relationships you have built.
  • The goal is not to live forever.  The goal is to create something that will.


So what do you say ? Do some of these recommendations apply (or not) to your work in HR and Compensation & Benefits ? Have you always felt that you never needed a title to be a leader ?


Related posts :

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind