Leadership. Love that word.

Makes me think of Mandela and Gandhi. Gates and Edison. Mozart and Beckham. Bono and Bieber 😉

It’s a word I’ve passionately built the past 20 years of my life around reminding so-called ordinary people that they are destined to lead. And create. And contribute. And win.

These are strange and gorgeous times. Tons of challenges. Dazzling possibilities.

And I viscerally want you to leverage these times to fly. To express your talent. To do your dreams. To make the world better.

To help you Lead Without a Title, I’ve distilled 10 of the most valuable and practical insights on leadership that I’ve taught to our global corporate clients like Starbucks, IBM, Nike, GE and FedEx. These ideas have helped them do some great things. My deep wish is that they deliver the same results for you.


I’ll be blunt: if you’re not building more leaders, then you’re not leading, you’re following. Your job (regardless of whether or not you have a title) is to help people do work they never dreamed they could do. Your job is to inspire people to own their talents, express their gifts and do the best work of their lives. That’s part of what it truly means to lead.


Start small, dream huge but begin today. Nothing happens until you take massive action. The sad reality is that procrastination is nothing more than the defense mechanism of choice used by scared people. Here’s what I mean: if we actually did our goals and acted on our visions, we’d become ultra-successful. And spectacular success brings responsibility. That frightens most among us. And so we put off getting great things done. And blame the world for any mediocrity that infuses our lives.


You tell the world what you believe via how you behave. Complain all day long and you reveal a deeply ingrained set of beliefs that you are powerless and apathetic. Present work that has typos and poor wording and you express a belief that average is cool with you. Mistreat others and you reveal that you’re selfish–and disconnected from the beautiful humanity that surrounds you. The good news is that as you wire in the beliefs of leadership (versus victim hood), your behavior changes automatically.


I’d rather have an average idea that my team and I flawlessly execute on than a genius-level idea with poor execution. The best Leaders Without Titles and the organizations that win big are all about “less talk and more do”. Less meetings and more delivery. Less analysis and more rolling up of sleeves and getting amazing projects done.


To double your income, triple your rate of learning. Few things have served my professional career–and the careers of the billionaires, Titans and CEOs I privately coach than this idea. Please simply remember that genius is much less about natural talent and much more about out-studying, out-preparing, out-practicing and out-learning everyone around you. Almost nothing yields the exponential return on investment that workshops, conferences, online courses, audio books/books and coaching do.


Leadership is about relationships. The smartest, fastest and most effective leaders all get that the whole game is about people–developing teammates + serving customers + making the world a whole lot better by the way you show up in it. Learn to listen like a master. Commit to being more inspirational. Keep your promises. Do nice things for people. Be the most generous person you know. Staggeringly great opportunities will come your way. Trust me.


A title, position and a large office do not guarantee people will respect you. Nope. You’ve got to earn that gift. And the quickest way to earn respect is to give it. No need to say much more.


Yes, we live in The Age of Dramatic Distraction. According to The Financial Times we collectively spend 100,000,000 minutes a day playing games on our smartphones. Most people in business are spending the absolute best hours of their days being busy being busy. Leaders Without Titles are completely different. I teach my clients a whole system of tactics to 20X productivity but a few to apply are these: start your day at 5 AM/set 5 daily goals and get them done before leaving the office (that’s 1850 “small wins” in 12 months)/use your first 90 minutes at work to fuel your most important project/get good at saying no.


Victims make excuses while leaders drive exceptional results. You can spot a victim a mile away: they blame and complain and are negative and cynical. They’ve given away their power to achieve amazing things to other people and outer conditions for so long they’ve actually conditioned themselves to think they have none. You are not a victim. This day–and every one that follows for the rest of your life–offers a platform of possibility. And the great thing about using your power to make things better is that the more you use it, the more powerful you become.


My Dad is awesome. He often said, “Robin, when you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Son, live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice.” I’ve always remembered my Dad’s striking advice. And carried it with me in all that I do. To truly be a leader has nothing to do with ego-stroking, applause and fame. No, to be a leader is to make phenomenal contributions that make the world better and cause a lasting difference. To lead is to serve. And to be of use.

As always, hope these 10 points are helpful to you, your life, your team and your mission.

Please share them, discuss them and–most importantly–live them.


13 Career Tips I Wish I Had Received at 22

If I could go back in a time machine and talk to my younger-self, this is what I would say


Do not work for people who you do not respect or do not trust. Work for people who you like and who you can learn from.

Do not work in places driven by corporate politics. They will fail anyway and take you with them.

Do not put up with BS and dishonesty. Full Stop.

Do not be afraid to speak for yourself or for your team. Life is full of 2nd chances, but here is where you may not get a second chance. If you can not speak up without putting your career in jeopardy, you are in a wrong job.

Of all the faults, fear is one of the worst. Fear to say what is right, to do what is proper, to try something new, to speak the truth.

Career is a marathon run – persistence, determination and hard work.

People are not commodities. Respect them, Trust them.

You are as good as your team. It is not what your team can do for you, it is what you can do for your team.

Opposing opinions and negative feedback are very valuable ! Positive feedback makes us feel good, negative feedback makes us learn. Never stop learning.

Worry saps the energy of today without contributing anything to tomorrow.

 Your loved ones and your health are more important than your work. To succeed at work and to fail at home is to fail completely. Jobs come and go, loved ones are for life.

Life is too short not to do what you love.


It is much easier to give advice then to follow it.

Which is why I would stop here by saying to my younger self –

“If there is one thing to take away, it is this one.

Do not let setbacks to ever discourage you from moving forward, from trying new things, from making new friends.

Never stop believing in yourself“.


What Makes a Good Dynamics AX Project Manager

The success and failure of a Dynamics AX project is directly related to the quality of the project manager leading it.  A recent survey by PwC showed that over 85% of Dynamics AX projects failed to achieve their core objectives – poor project management was one of the root causes.

Implementing Dynamics AX has been compared to performing open heart surgery on an organisation, where the stakes couldn’t be higher, and so the ‘physicians’ that are entrusted to give the ‘patient’ it’s new lease of life, need to be masters in their craft and highly experienced.

So what makes a good Dynamics AX project manager?

Let us find out with the help of this infographic by Cognitive Group, a dynamics ax recruitment agency in the UK.


Four Types of Knowledge Expected of an ERP Consultant

In my opinion, any ERP consultant should possess four types of Knowledge, if he/she really wants to be a successful ERP consultant in his career. They are as follows :

  • Functional Knowledge
  • Domain Knowledge
  • Business Knowledge
  • System Knowledge


Let us have a clear understanding of what are the above and how it can facilitate an ERP Implementation

  1. Functional Knowledge: This knowledge is mainly gained by the consultant out of their Education and Professional qualifications. Many Finance and MBA candidates have good knowledge on the fundamentals of Finance and Accounting. The Knowledge about SCM, Manufacturing, EAM and CRM can be gained by consultants during formal education but the theoretical knowledge can be enhanced only when they get a Practical Exposure to Industries. In order to be a successful ERP Consultant, the consultant should be strong in his domain of his functional education which he has undergone during his college or University. Some of the domains like Projects, Customer Care, and Service Management etc., could not be learnt through academic curriculum and mostly gained knowledge through practical experience only in an Industry.
  2. Domain Knowledge: This Knowledge can be gained post qualification based on their work experience in an Industry where the consultant works in the Main stream Domain like Purchasing, Finance, Accounts, Warehousing, Inventory Management, Projects, Maintenance etc., The consultant should learn the practical difficulties that are faced and how to overcome them either manually or through a System. (Here System does not refer to Software alone. It can be either be a manual process using registers, excel sheets and documents as well). If the consultants take the required initiative to learn these techniques, they may be able to apply it when it comes to a real life scenario in an Automated System. The primary objective of the experience gained in this phase is that the consultant should not only understand the Problem, but he should know how to resolve the problem as well. Then only he can turn out to be a good ERP Consultant.
  3. Business Knowledge: Many consultants might have worked in one type of Industry or Multiple Industries before migrating to ERP Implementation. These people will have wide exposure to various industries and understand the intricacies and problems related to one particular Domain in depth (Example: Purchasing process experience in an oil refinery / oil terminal / pharmaceutical company etc.,). This kind of consultants can migrate very fast as a Solution Architect due to their varied exposure and Knowledge they gained out of their experience. If a consultant does not capitalize or gain the in depth Knowledge with his experience and attain only a Partial Knowledge, he will struggle and confuse rather than working as a Problem solver. Example: A Purchasing Process adopted by a Financial Service Industry like Bank or Insurance will not be same for a Government Organization. So the consultant should able to understand the difference and identify suitable solution which can meet the requirement according to the Industry for which he is implementing the solution. If the consultant could not understand the difference and tries to adopt the same solution in all types of Industry, then very soon his incapability will come to light and he will be identified as incapable person.
  4. System Knowledge: The essential qualification of an ERP consultant lies in understanding and applying all the three -Functional, Domain and Business knowledge gained and who learns the capabilities and architecture of the ERP system and applies them during Implementation. Sometimes what the consultant theoretically studied or practically followed may not be possible in an ERP system. But the consultant should thoroughly evaluate and apply his experience to find a suitable solution according to the Business and industry. That is where the capability of the consultant and crux of the solution lies. The consultant should quickly grasp the existing Processes / understand the applicable future process and see how the system can be configured according to the business and Industry needs. This will decide the success or failure of an ERP implementation.

The biggest challenge and issue in an ERP implementation is that many of the consultants come with Functional Knowledge but without having much exposure to Industry and Business Knowledge for an ERP Implementation. Also those consultants try to gain Industry and Business Knowledge from the ERP system. This is one of the major drawback or cause of failure for ERP Implementations.

Those Consultants who did not get Industry or Business Knowledge should try to learn and listen very carefully during AS IS and TO BE Process discussions and go through various documentations and Forms used by those organizations to get a clear picture about the flow of Transactions and also the challenges faced by them on Day to Day basis. During Implementation they should clearly communicate and demonstrate how ERP systems can facilitate the pitfall or shortfalls in the Legacy system to the implementing Organization. Such a knowledge gained by the consultant can be applied in newer implementations, they should keep a repository and whenever they go to another implementation of same type of Industry or Business, they can talk to them with more knowledge and experience. If the other Organization follows different Process, he should take it as a lesson to learn from them as well. This is how he can improvise and grow up in the ladder.

Quote: My First ERP Implementation Lesson from CFO of a Fortune 500 Company

“Software should be configured according to Business and Business should not be amended according to the Software”

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