Derailed by Tim Irwin is the vaccination every leader needs but rarely gets, and the reason it is so rare is because it stings a bit. Irwin takes traces of common factors of decline for leaders of large and recognizable corporations and forms a powerful vaccination sure to immunize you from your own downfall as a leader.
The overall intention of this book is clear. It reveals certain vulnerabilities if left unattended can and will lead to ‘derail’. Character is the impetus for everything we do, and Irwin is clear in stating that the greatest impact of our leadership can always be traced back to our character.
The first ingredient in this vaccination is 5 parts profile. The reader is given a glimpse of 6 high level leaders who have derailed due to a character flaw left unattended. These profiles are written to not only commiserate with each fallen leader, but to identify with one or more of them. You quickly discover where this book may be leading you once you read these profiles.
A quick explanation of derailment follows. There are 5 stages to the process of an eventual derailment: Failure of Self-/Other-Awareness, Pride Before the Fall, Missed Early Warning Signals, Rationalizing, and Derailment. It is revealed how if left ignored, these stages happen almost effortlessly.
Irwin develops 4 dimensions of character each leader, no matter the capacity, should develop and maintain: Authenticity, Self-Management, Humility, and Courage. The explanations of these dimensions are the alcohol swab before the injection.
Injection: the derailment factors to be aware of if your leadership lacks any of the aforementioned character dimensions. The healing vaccination Irwin provides in this book necessarily is applied with a sting.
The book is closed with a soothing band-aid in a description of the ways to stay on the track without derailing. You can still be a dynamic leader if you do not ignore the danger, face the sting, and move forward. Irwin closes this book with a great look at how this is accomplished.
I received this book for free in exchange for a review to be written for Thomas Nelson publishing, but knowing what I know now, I would have paid a good amount to gain the tools provided in the reading of it. No matter the capacity in which you lead, this book will serve you very well in forming a long-lasting leadership wherever you are. It is the vaccination every leader needs.