Robin Sharma is a Canadian Writer. Professionally, he was a lawyer till age 25, when he self-published Mega Living – a book on stress management.
He has written 12 more books and founded a training company named Sharma Leadership International. Among all these 12 books, one of his most famous books is The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari, translated into 70 languages.
Robin Sharma is considered one of the world’s top 5 leadership experts. His work is appreciated by rock stars, billionaires, and many celebrity CEOs.
His books on leadership and peak performance at work have sold over 15,000,000 copies in 15+ countries. In addition, his social media posts reach around 600 million views per year, making him a truly global personality who helps people do brilliant work and realize their highest potential as a leader.
After The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’s success, Robin Sharma entered another leadership book called The 8 Rituals of Visionary Leaders.
This book is one of the recently developed leadership theories studied during the organizational behaviour course – inspiration leadership.
The eight rituals of visionary leadership endorsed in this book highlight the transformational leadership conduct of an inspiring leader. In this book, he talks about an extraordinary leader who turned around the fate of an organization by following simple leadership rituals.
This book’s characteristics are that if you are not a leader, you can become an effective leader through intention and dedication.
In this book, he shares his ideas simply yet profoundly and leaves a positive impression on the mind of readers.
The two main protagonists in this book are Peter Franklin, the CEO of GlobalView Software Solutions, and Julian Mantle, a former associate of Peter.
The latter guides Peter on how to steer his company out of a potential crisis. Julian, who was once an enterprising and discerning businessman, had recently returned from a life-altering journey of self-discovery from the Himalayas.
Let’s learn about the 8 Rituals for Visionary Leaders.
The Ritual of a Compelling Future Focus
The Author states, ‘The ultimate task of the visionary leader is to dignify and honour the lives of those he leads by allowing them to manifest their highest potential through their work.’
A leader can motivate his people to put their heart and soul into their work if they can encourage them for the job or achieve the ultimate goal. ‘Purpose is the most powerful motivator in the world.
Therefore, the leader should bind the tasks of his employees to an emotionally compelling purpose.
The Author says that when you ask the WHY behind the assigned work to the employees and when employees get the answer for WHY for their work, they will do it more passionately.
Therefore, the vision and mission of the organization should be phrased in such a way that it reflects purpose.
Further Author explains that the leader’s primary task is to get his teammates excited about the compelling cause that contributes to the life of others.
Here Author is telling us to act to help fulfil this ritual. First, ritualize wisdom so that our positive intentions translate into tangible results – according to Stephen Covey, we need to exercise integrity in the moment of choice.
Second, communicate about the compelling cause so that emotions involve. Third, align visualization with audio so that employees get connected. Finally, the Author adds that the visionary leader is dignified and honors the lives of the people he leads by allowing them to manifest their highest potential through their work.
The Ritual of Human Relations
In this ritual, the Author explains that visionary leaders don’t set short-term goals but focus on building long-term tangible assets like solid relationships based on trust and respect.
The Author explains that innovative leaders don’t squeeze as much profit out of a company quickly.
Still, they understand that by spending desired time and allowing their people to develop the fullness of their potential and put a robust system in place to achieve maximum profit.
A leader has to connect with his people. A leader must involve himself in listening to his people’s spoken and unspoken words. If your employees don’t trust you, there is no way they will go the extra mile to give the best results.
Here Author also talks about four simple rules to discipline oneself to build genuine relationships:
1. PROMISES KEEPING:–
“Every promise you break chips off your character.” Whenever you avoid doing the right things, you fuel the habit of doing wrong. So here Author is saying to keep your promises to become a good leader.
2. LISTENING AGGRESSIVE:-
In this part, the author explains that visionary leaders always win the heart of their people by deeply listening to them and hence becoming excellent communicators. They show empathy to their people, identify them and invest in them. The leader should be excited and passionate about listening and understanding his people. He should develop the habit of asking open-ended questions and carefully listen the response of his people.
3. CONSISTENTLY COMPASSIONATE:-
Here Author says that visionary leaders show kindness and sincere concern for their people. In this way, people love them because they always want their leaders to value and cherish them as people with a vision of a compelling cause to work towards meaningfully. When any intense circumstances call for it – it takes great courage for the leader to do the right thing.
Good leaders are always honest and open and hence gain the trust of their people. A good leader should habitually get all the information in conversation with his employees. By this, he can win the support of the people and prepare himself for the future.
By doing this, a leader will get to know what is happening, and they will be able to invest in the given task.
When there is an open line for communication, your people will like you as a leader and never let you down. The other benefit of open discussion is that it avoids minor issues and skirmishes before they escalate into full-blown wars.
The Ritual of Team Unity
We all have heard this quote: “Great Leaders are Great Teachers and Coaches.” Here Author explains that a good coach energizes challenges and develops and equips his people.
Just like a dedicated teacher is obsessed with the growth and improvement of his students, in the same way, a true leader always encourages, motivates, and supports his people to achieve higher performance standards.
A leader must understand that everyone wants to work well and efficiently. Still, the lack of appreciation gives negative results and becomes dormant as employees become mediocre performers.
The Author tells of finding good performers and employees, which is crucial for motivating your employees. And when you see, it recognizes them and rewards them. This will not only benefit those doing exemplary work but also encourage their diligent efforts, and those capable of attaining high results will have someone or something to emulate.
Further Author says it is equally important to recognize and reward positive action; it is crucial to remember not to instil fear of penalty or punishment for making mistakes. Some basic praise principles are: Be specific, immediate, public, and sincere.
As a leader, what will you do? Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day or teach him to fish, and you will feed him for a lifetime.
The work atmosphere and ambience should represent the environment of freedom to perform and motivation.
The study says that out of 1500 employees, personalized and instant recognition was the top way to energize staff, but only 42% received such feedback; 58% seldom received a thank you for a job well done, although they said they wanted it the most.
Here Author is talking about four behaviours as a leader that promote team unity to get the benefits out of the employees:
1. Create a Vision:
A leader has to create a vision for his team members, which they understand and rally on. A leader can also help team members set a vision for other team members. Then, as a result of this team developed an achievable and meaningful concept.
2. Respect differences of opinion:
A visionary leader should listen to his employees, consider their ideas, and discuss with them if something is different.
Sometimes, a leader might have arguments with his employee, but at that time leader has to explain his position very respectfully and the leader has to show his employee his work. But a leader should not keep a grudge against the people with whom he had arguments.
A leader can achieve team unity even when all employees do not agree with your decision or position; in this case, the leader can listen to their ideas respectfully.
3. Build trust within the team:
A leader has to provide all sorts of opportunities for the team members to get to know each other thoroughly by doing a few team events and activities. This will build good inter-team relations and hence trust as well. The Author says that trust is an essential component of a unified team.
The Ritual of Adaptability and Change Management
Here Author says that change is the most dominant force in the business world. Yet, every visionary leader goes beyond struggling with change. To master the change, develop a discipline of managing the unexpected. In the difficult time, he who learns the most wins the game of fight.
This relates to today’s high uncertainty and complexity scenario in a business environment. An organization has to constantly put its efforts into innovating and rediscovering itself to maintain its competitive advantage.
Just think, if you do the same work every day, you will not be able to deliver new results . To change the results you are getting, you must change the things you are doing. You know what Western philosophy believes – surrendering to change is losing it, but Eastern philosophy tells us that to conquer, one must yield.
In this further Author shares his philosophy that it is like water – flows and mingles with all and adapts to whatever comes in.
When you adjust something, you recover from anxiety and fear; it will bring change initially and then move ahead vigorously.
And it will flow persisting until you reach the result. But the physiological effect tells us that our mind is programmed so that we all resist change called homeostasis, which means returning to the equilibrium, but we can reset our hemostats.
Visionary leaders have to lessen anxiety by reminding them why this change is necessary and reminding them about the benefits of the change.
It is the job of a good visionary leader to fertilize and program the mind of himself and his employees with good thoughts and what new opportunities he will get from the coming change, what he will learn from it, and how he will move forward, and how will he get success from them.
Another thought leader has to condition in his employee’s minds is that the level of success will reach the sky if we focus on which activities and initiatives our team has chosen to focus on.
In this ritual, the Author is telling leaders to ask a few questions to them so that they can know that as a leader how they are capable of adapting to any change in the organization.
1) Have I accepted change positively?
2) Have I seen change as an opportunity?
3) Have I quickly learned new technology, plans, and operating rules?
4) Have I taken people’s concerns for my doubts?
5) Have I admitted personal mistakes, learned from them, and moved on?
6) Am I optimistic?
You must first lead yourself through the transition process to survive a change in any organization. This includes finding different ways to help yourself as a leader more grounded, understanding the impact of change on you, and understanding the impact of your behaviour on others.
Here Author is sharing five tips for the flexibility for leaders to adopt change in the organization –
1. Be Curious:
As a leader, you must be curious about everything. Therefore, you should have expressions of wonder and many questions before you judge or decide about anything.
2. Don’t stick to one plan:
As a leader, you do not have to stick to one plan; you should always have alternate methods like plan B and plan C. This will help you in any situation where you can change your plan for the benefit of your organization.
3. Create a support system:
As a leader, you should take any team member with you in any meeting. They will act as a support system.
As a leader, you should also give an equal chance to your team member to participate and share their ideas. Also, this will have a positive impact on all the team members that their leader is giving equal opportunity to his team members to be part of the task.
4. Understand your reaction to change:
As a leader, you must be clear about your thoughts on the change that will happen. This will help you to be straightforward towards your employees.
5. Immerse yourself in new environments and situations:
As a leader, when you immerse thoroughly into the change, practice joining new people, trying new things, and being part of the new team.
The Ritual of Personal Effectiveness
In this ritual, the Author shares his new philosophy of time leadership on time management. He says it will lead you if you cannot show your time. The art of getting things done is knowing what needs to remain undone.
It means that a leader has to focus on necessary things by neglecting those that are unnecessary.
The model, ‘The Time Model for Visionary Leadership,’ will help leaders to lead their time. It is a ‘Weekly Planning Practice.’ In this exercise, leaders should make a weekly timetable for the task to be done in the next week.
Then, the leader can devote at least half an hour on Sunday to plan the following week’s lesson. After this, leaders should follow the five-step practice to ensure the plan is implemented into action.
1) Revisit your future vision and align it with your goals for the year,
2) Disintegrate your goals into smaller, mini targets or milestones,
3) Schedule and prioritize these milestones,
4) Delegate them effectively, and
5) Keep track of the achieved milestones.
The Ritual of Self Leadership
‘All leadership starts within by improving, refining and defining who we are; we see the world from the highest, most enlightened perspective.’
If you had travelled on a flight, you might have heard from the air hostess or flight attendant that ‘in the emergency condition, put your oxygen mask first.
The Author applied the same principle to leadership. To become an excellent leader to others, you have to first take care of yourself. Everyone wants to know how to move up the corporate ladder, but they don’t realize it will start from within you.
Here Author shares a few models of discipline for a visionary leader:
1. The discipline of personal renewal:
A leader has to be happy, joyful, and content with his life. His focus should be work but with fun and leisure. The Author says, ‘ People don’t leave companies; they leave managers.’ So if a leader is a happy, inspiring person, it will positively impact others.
To achieve this, a leader has to continuously work towards self-growth in terms of physical, mental, and spiritual throughout the day.
2. The discipline of abundant knowledge:
A leader has to develop the habit of reading and constantly updating himself with knowledge and wisdom. A visionary leader should be aware of his strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness is a core of authenticity that leads to trust.
3. The discipline of physicality:
A leader should always care for his health. Spend time to do exercise and say no to illness.
4. The discipline of early awakening:
A great leader has to live each day as if it is his last day to work to his full potential.
Further Author talks about three pillars of self-leadership for visionary leaders.
Pillar 1: Self-discovery:
To become a great leader, visionary leaders must first understand themselves. An innovative leader must understand what is important to him, what energizes him, and what you believe in. If you know these things, you can make your decisions with confidence. All great leaders in history are considered because they dared to stand up for their beliefs.
Pillar 2: Self-acceptance:
Self–acceptance is about being 100% honest with yourself and accepting it without self-criticism. As a leader, when you achieve self-acceptance, your growth comes from a less stressful place.
As a result, you will start focusing on the areas where you want to concentrate, especially in the growth areas that matter to you.
Pillar 3: Self-Management:
As a leader, you must be self-managed. This way, you can be more productive, focused, and able to work independently. Self-management involves holding yourself accountable and managing your time and resources effectively.
As a leader, you must balance well and prioritize your things at the right time so you won’t be overworked or push yourself hard.
The Ritual of Creativity and Innovation
Some people are blessed with creativity, but all of us are creative. Here Author is talking about creative thinkers, which means leaders who create innovative ideas later on that will become the new invention or change the scenario of the world.
The classic examples of creative leaders are Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, and Thomas Alva Edison, who invented the bulb and many electric-related things. Innovative leaders are visionaries with great ideas, and most importantly, they motivate their team members to turn those ideas into reality.
As a visionary leader, the most crucial task is to awaken the natural state of creativity that sleeps inside the brain of all people.
The leader has to help his employees to think smarter and inspire them to explore new pathways of thought. To create space for creative ideas, one has to give up the old conditioning of the mind and come out of his risk-free zone.
Here Author is sharing some tips for leaders to become creative and innovative:
1. Help your team with their thinking:
As a leader, you must know what your team thinks about the new ideas someone has shared. This will help you to help them to become more confident in sharing their ideas.
2. Be creative every day:
A leader has to look to innovation and creativity in each opportunity. Be proactive, rather than thinking that this opportunity will create an opportunity to get into it, but creatively turn it by acting on the ideas generated.
3· Inspire others to act the same way:
As a leader, showcase the creativity of any of your team members to the team. This will make an impact on others to do the same.
4. Get groups together:
As a leader, you should not separate creative people; they all have to sit in one group. By doing this, they will spark ideas in each other.
The Ritual of Contribution and Significance
In the last leadership ritual, the Author explains that the legacy will manifest the deepest and best you have in your life. Leaving a gift is not about impressing your friends or reaching the top. It’s not about looking good or bad. It’s about fulfilling your duty and actualizing humanity.
This ritual makes leaders understand that a leader has a role in the larger scheme of life and can make a difference in society. When everything is said and done, the highest and the most enduring gift you have ever been able to give is the gift of what you leave behind.
This means that as a leader, whatever action you take, what footprint you leave behind. The difference is that the beginning of something does not end with you.
As a leader, you must take actions that will focus on a better future for all. The job of a leader is to grow more leaders. As a leader, you must help your team members to work they never dreamed they could do. You have to inspire them for their hidden talents, express their ideas, and do the best work of their lives.
Nothing can happen until the leader moves and take massive action. If, as a leader, you won’t start anything, how can your team member start? If you say negative words about the opportunity, your team members will get scared of the change, and they won’t become successful.
So visionary leaders have to make a real difference and contribution to the human race. So after reading this book’s summary and understanding Robin Sharma’s philosophy, you can learn inspiring leadership techniques.
Leadership Wisdom Book Review
Leadership Wisdom by Robin Sharma is a concise yet insightful read that offers practical advice for those seeking to become better leaders. The book presents a collection of Sharma’s most profound teachings on leadership, distilled into short, easily digestible chapters.
Sharma’s emphasis on personal growth and self-awareness as key components of effective leadership make this book a valuable resource for aspiring leaders at any stage of their careers. Me as an entrepreneur, I learned a lot more things from this book.
So, yes, anyone who wants to become a leader should read this book; the author has clear-cut ideas and paths on how anyone can become a good leader.
So, my review of this book is positive, and anyone who wants to lead a business or society more efficiently, should read the book.