You Don't Need a Title to be a Leader

Sanborn has gathered simple secrets to becoming a great leader and packaged them in a highly readable handbook. Along the way, you’ll become acquainted with some ordinary people achieving extraordinary things.

102 pages. ©2006.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted April 17, 2020


Brilliantly written! A quick read at only 103 pages, but well worth the time.


Review posted April 1, 2020


Good information. Could use it at work!


Review posted February 6, 2020


Great book to empower all to take the lead


Review posted January 19, 2020


This book defines leadership so broadly that it can (and does) use almost any example of being helpful as an instance of leadership. It also gets a lot simply wrong in the first few chapters, including telling you to take responsibility for things that are beyond your control and lots of misuse of the definition. After that it gets better. The back half of the book is basically good advice, even though much of it is generic and not really about leadership either. My two stars indicates the good advice, but i can't actively recommend it to anyone because of the level of bullshit that comes along with it.


Review posted January 17, 2020


This is a helpful book for leadership ideas. He discusses six principles of leadership: self-mastery, focus, people, persuasive communication, execution and giving. He provides fun stories of successful leaders, people without a title. The book is an encouraging reminder that each person who acts with these principles is a leader. I look forward to practicing these principles in my life, to increase my ROI (Relationships, Outcomes and Improvements).

Hilary Barfield

Review posted October 21, 2019


Great book


Review posted September 9, 2019


This book is helping me understand how to be a leader not a follower. Setting an example and mentoring others will go a long way.


Review posted August 14, 2019


I really enjoyed this book! The author reminds us that everything we do has an impact and our actions will either help improve others or diminish them. I hope that my actions will support and improve others and am reminded that I lead by example as much as by words. I highly recommend this book.


Review posted August 7, 2019


Before reading this book, I knew everyone could be a leader, but I wasn't sure in what capacity those could lead. Mark Sanborn does a great job of laying out the steps to be a great leader.


Review posted July 16, 2019


Picking this book at first felt like a random choice for me because I don't aspire to any traditional leadership roles. However, the idea of making a positive difference in the world resonates strongly and I felt inspired by what I read. Naming things is powerful, and equating "positive influence" with "leadership" is empowering to all of us who care about our communities but aren't in traditional leadership roles. This book is equally full of fascinating stories as is it with pointers for leadership- a great read.


Review posted June 17, 2019


This is a great book for establishing a mindset of leadership. It is clear and concise with memorable real life stories that drive the overarching principles home. I would recommend it to anyone. For those just starting out in the work force it is a quick but poignant read. For those more advanced in experience and years it is still relevant and if nothing else a great reminder of ways to stay grounded, and what leadership principles To keep top of mind.


Review posted May 27, 2019


This little book has so many gems to illustrate great leadership skills and attributes! Highly recommended for staff development, as an introduction to a career ladder or as a reminder to current leadership.


Review posted April 29, 2019


Not my favorite read. A little different to get through but in the end I enjoyed the messages this book left me with.


Review posted April 17, 2019


You Don't Need a Title to be a Leader was a basic, yet apt book for what it aims to achieve. It speaks to the simple fact that it is not about authority, but leadership qualities. I feel this book could have spent more time going into depth, rather than just pushing the idea that anyone can be anything. That is always the difficulty with a broad subject book, though. I have my thoughts about that, but overall the book can speak to many who are newer to the workforce.


Review posted April 15, 2019


Great read, I thought it would be a little longer.


Review posted April 15, 2019


This book is short, 128 pages and to the point. It includes anyone in any position, titled or untitled leaders. Everyone can learn something from this book about what makes a good leader.


Review posted March 1, 2019


I enjoyed this book and mainly ordered it to give to staff to read at the residential facility I work in. It is helpful in identifying ways to be assertive and effective role models, communicators, and leaders. It is a good reminder that just because you don't have a leadership title, doesn't mean you cannot be a leader. I would recommend.


Review posted February 5, 2019


The title of the book is what drew my attention. I liked the concept that anyone could be a leader and that a title/position shouldn't be a motivating factor in leading. The book will be one I would highly recommend to those who are looking to build their leadership skills.


Review posted January 30, 2019


This is actually an excellent book for anyone, with or without a title. It does a good job of staying engaging while also encouraging the reader to embrace everyday opportunities to be the change in their community. As a teenager, I found it an easy read and it makes me want to do more to be a positive influence.


Review posted December 19, 2018


I found this to be an inspiring book. I do not have a lot of explicit leadership experience, and it was suggested that I read this book to help recognize the leadership experience I do have, and how to strengthen myself professionally. I did find this book to be beneficial.


Review posted November 14, 2018


Nothing earth-shattering about this book. It points out some basic concepts on leadership skills without delivering any particular insights to common sense. On a more positive note, the author's writing style makes it for a pleasant read.


Review posted September 28, 2018


This was a great addition to my admin program.


Review posted September 5, 2018




Review posted August 21, 2018


This was a very good book. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in leadership. It made me think about how I can be a leader without being in charge. It is a great book.


Review posted July 29, 2018


Good read. Small book - concise.


Review posted June 14, 2018


I really enjoyed this book! Has many stories that can apply to you to become a better leader. It's your actions not your title that shows whether or not you are a leader.


Review posted June 12, 2018


In respects, to becoming a leader this book sorts out the small details many leaders forget. This book is a great choice for today's leaders!


Review posted June 1, 2018


This was wonderful. I really enjoyed the stories. I work with a team of people and I would love all of them to read/listen to this book.


Review posted May 27, 2018


Such a great book! (Though a little hard to read at times)


Review posted April 17, 2018


Really great book about how "regular" people can be amazing leaders.


Review posted April 11, 2018


It's an inspiring read, the author shows how each of us can be a leader in our daily lives and make a positive difference, whatever our title or position. Among the qualities that genuine leaders share: • Acting with purpose rather than getting bogged down by mindless activity • Caring about and listening to others • Looking for ways to encourage the contributions and development of others rather than focusing solely on personal achievements • Creating a legacy of accomplishment and contribution in everything they do Quick and easy read, highly recommend it.


Review posted March 26, 2018


This was a pretty good book, not a ton of new information but it was a nice audio to listen to in the car on the way to work.


Review posted January 28, 2018


I loved this book. It was very empowering. I am a titled leader but you sometimes loose focus on the little things trying to achieve the goals set by higher up management. This helped to refocus on the joy of making a difference in everyone's life that you touch. I would highly recommend it.


Review posted January 23, 2018


Nice book about leading from any chair.


Review posted January 17, 2018


An easy read on practical ideas to step up into leadership in any environment. Highly recommended!


Review posted September 16, 2017


A quick read that urges readers to consider themselves as leaders and not wait for someone else to do it.


Review posted July 28, 2017


This is a good started book to understand, not how, but why other people consider you a leader. Since I was young people have looked to me for answers and to help solve their problems. Now I understand why.


Review posted July 11, 2017


Helpful for those looking to make a difference or advance their career.


Review posted May 14, 2017


Enjoyed this book. It's a good read. Solid leadership strategies. To drill it down: ditch the ego; be a team player; don't be a jerk; share the glory; treat people with honesty and respect.. it is worth it.


Review posted May 9, 2017


A short, quick read with plenty of reinforcement! You need not have title or fancy office to provide leadership in a business or organization. We lead by example and continued accountability to better one's self and those surrounding us. Leadership isn't about focusing on self and self-achievement but on others and team building for positive outcomes and the team accountability to reaching goals.


Review posted March 15, 2017


I found this book to be very inspiring as a low level employee in a public protection agency where our organization struggles with morale and direction.


Review posted March 1, 2017


It is one of the great books about learning how to be a good leader. This is the book that needs to be checked out when you are willing to be a good leader.


Review posted February 27, 2017


This book was extremely helpful as I navigate leadership of a small team of artists promoting other artists in our community.


Review posted February 9, 2017


This is a decent beginner-level leadership book, but relies on cliches and concepts that are better explained elsewhere.


Review posted February 2, 2017


This book is very positive and motivating. It makes you think about working hard not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it makes you feel empowered and excited about work again. I highly recommend this book.


Review posted November 7, 2016


Small book, huge impact. Read twice and enjoyed it both times. I am going to recommend it to my children. Through people good things happen and this book provides people with the necessary knowledge to lead and to follow.


Review posted October 2, 2016


Simplistic advice. Can't say I learned anything new. His analogies, and examples which accompany every tidbit are weak and uninspiring.


Review posted September 17, 2016


I really love this book. It's going to be part of my motivation arsenal for the times when I feel to down to do a thing.

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Review posted July 18, 2016


I loved this book. It was uplifting for someone who leads everyday, but doesn't have a title to match. I wish more managers would read this and give staff the respect they desrve.


Review posted July 17, 2016


Great book. Really inspires people to step up to the plate even when they don't have a position do so.


Review posted February 12, 2016


This book gave shared how the people with leadership skills are often the ones who step up to do a great job, even if it's not in their title; or doesn't show in their paycheck. They do the job because someone asked them to, and believed in them. The payoff in the satisfaction of a job well done. Sometimes it was followed by a better position, or more pay. Leadership is truly not about the title. I've seen it myself in a previous job. You have to earn the respect of those you lead. Your job title does not just make it happen.


Review posted February 5, 2016


Good short book with good tips


Review posted January 23, 2016


It was a good, quick read. I really enjoyed the step by step ways it gives you to become a better leader.


Review posted January 12, 2016


After reading this book I no longer feel like I need a "Title" to be validated for my hard work. It was very enlightening to read we can all make a difference (even a small one). If we strive to be leaders in our everyday jobs our efforts don't go unnoticed. We just need to stop believing we need a fancy title in order to do great things. In reality it is the other way around.

Suz Ybarra

Review posted December 14, 2015


I had a "good problem" with this book. It's so good, I cannot decide who I want to give it to first. It presents simple instructions in an encouraging way. The author is friendly and supportive. He presents his case that we are all leaders and we can all improve as leaders. A leader is someone who "strives to make things better". Mark Sanborn has reminded me to choose goals, stay focused on those goals, and persevere.


Review posted December 6, 2015


A quick read that mixes anecdotes and principles to show what one can do to become a leader not only in a work environment but in other situations even in everyday life. You may want to have pen and paper handy while you take down ideas you'd want to implement in your life.


Review posted November 10, 2015


Mark Sanborn uses interesting stories and examples to explain his theory on how to be a leader. Everyone has the ability to make a difference, to have an impact, regardless of title. In some ways his theory is fairly simplistic and obvious but cutting through the cynicism, it's a good reminder that success and leadership come down to a couple personal motivations. First, it's important to look at what's in front of you as opportunity instead of as an obligation. This shift in attitude is hugely helpful for being a good leader. The second idea is that you have to be willing to try something new - be willing to work even if you fail. This book was very helpful in recognizing my own leadership skills.


Review posted November 6, 2015


An easy read that tells of a very simple, yet highly effective approach to leading people, instead of managing them.


Review posted November 2, 2015


Inspirational and practical tips on creating your professional development


Review posted September 2, 2015


Enjoyed this book. Had a lot of good points on providing positive leadership.


Review posted August 14, 2015


I really enjoyed this quick read that packs so much punch. I even shared it at a company retreat!


Review posted August 3, 2015


A bit of a corny read, but I enjoyed the way he used stories to illustrate his points.


Review posted June 9, 2015


Excellent book. Really gets to the heart of leadership. It was a perfect read for the place I am currently at in my career. Really made me think about how I approach my role as a leader and how I can better my role. Mark Sanborn uses great, real life examples to show the differences in leaders. This is a great book for any worker, no matter their title. I will definitely recommend this to my colleagues.


Review posted May 28, 2015


This book was a great read. It outlines practical steps to become and/or continue a life of leadership without the need of a title. It reminded me that it is about the daily actions and interactions with others that make individuals leaders.


Review posted April 11, 2015


This was an interesting read, about helping someone make positive differences.


Review posted April 8, 2015


Excellent style and content; a very good book.


Review posted March 25, 2015


Wonderfully helpful!


Review posted January 9, 2015


I never read "The Fred Factor" but now I want to do so. Mark Sanborn's "You Don't Need a Title to be a Reader" has been helpful in providing examples that educate others, especially our students, the qualities of being a good leader.