I recently read Dr. Tim Irwin’s new book Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything. His previous book, Derailed: Five Lessons Learned from Catastrophic Failures of Leadership is a must read for any leader. What keeps many people from reading his books is that they tend to be about the inner life of the leader.
His main point in Impact, is that if your inner life is a wreck, what he calls the core, then you will never reach your potential as a leader.
Here are a few things I highlighted from the book:
- In working with thousands of leaders over many years, I have observed that they rarely fail because of lack of competence. Clearly competence is necessary, but it is not sufficient to be a great leader.
- When we have a strong core, people trust us and follow us with abandon.
- Management is positional, leadership is personal.
- When we look at effective leaders today, inevitably they have a strong core. Conversely, my research demonstrates that those who fall from leadership have almost always suffered a compromised core.
- The short tenure of many senior leaders makes it clear that effective leadership is very hard to sustain. The conditions under which people lose their position and influence teach us a lot about how to preserve it. A critical discovery is that falling from a leadership position often has very little to do with a leader’s competence but has everything to do with his or her core.
- Our core (character) is the foundation from which we lead.
- A strong core ultimately trumps style and competence in sustaining our ability to lead.
- Skillful self-examination builds a strong core, which makes us more effective leaders.
- If we wish to lead skillfully, we must consider the forces that have made us who we are.
- A healthy self-awareness is a common denominator among leaders who forge a great legacy.
- There is a clear connection between overconfidence and moral failure.
- Arrogance often results in unbridled power. Power pushes us toward an unruly self-focus and fosters beliefs that are simply not true.
- Our beliefs play a tremendous role in determining how we act as leaders.
- Effective leaders are thoughtful about who they are and where their lives are going.
- Self deception is the act or instance of deceiving oneself, especially as to the true nature of one’s feelings or motives.
Easily, the biggest benefit from the book was the going deeper parts at the end of each chapter. Really helpful to get at the darker side that every leader has but often pretends is not there.
To see other book notes, click here.