Book Review: De-Railed by Tim Irwin

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Derailed: Five Lessons Learned from Catastrophic Failures of Leadership by Tim Irwin is one of the most frightening books I’ve ever read… and if you’re in leadership, you should buy it and be frightened by it as well!

Irwin does a masterful job of presenting a comprehensive take on the subject of failure. Irwin lays the groundwork by speaking of the qualities that prevent derailment that should be a part of every leader’s life. Thomas Nelson’s description of the book puts it this way…

Deficits in authenticity, humility, self-management, and courage become more dangerous as we take on more leadership, and can cause us to ignore glaring signals that might otherwise save us from catastrophic demise.

The book is well-constructed. After presenting his opening points about authenticity, humility, self-management, and courage, Tim goes on to share four glaring and memorable examples out of the corporate world – stories of derailment that many will remember from the pages of major business magazines and even mainstream news channels. In each case, one of the four pillars of leadership was compromised. And in each case, the compromise was a process, not a single event.

This is one of those books I’ll remember because of the little fear in the back of my mind that I’ll lose those four qualities in my own life and be derailed. My greatest fear is that God would put me on the shelf and no longer use me to influence my generation. The last half of Tim’s book gives some stern warnings and encouragements to keep certain aspects of our lives in check – particularly to guard the hear and the head.

I feel challenged to be even more protective over my character and integrity which, as Irwin points out, are the bedrock of what longevity and effectiveness in leadership are really built on.

Disclosure: I did receive a free review copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers, but was not required to write a positive review. Further, the links to the book in this review are affiliate links.

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