Book Review of Tim Irwin's, Impact

May 14, 2014

"I make no secret that I love anything related to leadership and one of my favourite authors on the topic is Tim Irwin. His new book, Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything, is one of those books that strikes all the right chords. What I appreciate about Impact, is the way Irwin deals with the inner life of a leader. There is a lot of lip-service given to this area but little meat in the vast plethora of books that inundate the leadership genre. Most books in this category are focused more on leadership styles, methods, practices, and systems, while maybe offering a chapter or two on the inner development of a leader. Which is what makes this book such a gem. It deals with the critical issue that separates the great leader from everyone else: character! Though it is the most important ingredient, it rarely gets the kind of intense and mass attention it deserves. Primarily because the matter of character isn't the most attractive or compelling topic for generating interest at conferences and leadership retreats. If we are honest, most of us would not be too excited spending resources on a conference which did nothing more than probe us for potential hazards in our character and make-up? Not exactly the kind of conference people would clamour to attend. But this is exactly where great leadership rises and falls. The book essentially begins by introducing the three faces of a leader,
  1. A Leader's CORE - The Person of the Leader
  2. A Leader's CONDUCT - The Actions of a Leader
  3. A Leader's STYLE - The Face of the Leader
The key theme throughout the book revolves around a leaders ""core."" According to Irwin, leadership that endures begins with a strong core. From that premise, each chapter evolves into ways of improving, protecting, and developing that core. It is evident throughout that this book is borne out of the vast experience of the author as an organizational psychologist and management consultant, and anyone embracing the lessons here will benefit greatly. Tim Irwin has written what is in my mind, one of the best books with respect to character development. The book has thoughtful questions for reflection and actionable steps for practical application. It's also an engaging read while at the same time presenting rich and insightful material. This is not a droll academic treatise. I appreciate the book because I sense in this author the same burden for leaders as I have. In fact, my own book, The Trojan Horse of Leadership: Battling the Enemy We All Face, benefited greatly from the insights of an earlier book by Irwin titled, Derailed: Five Lessons Learned from Catastrophic Failures of Leadership. You can read the blog introducing my book here. Individually, or for group study, Impact, is a book that will challenge you to elevate your leadership with integrity and purpose. I hope you take the time to engage with it and give your leadership the kind of internal inventory it deserves. I would love to hear your thoughts?"


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