Sunday, November 22, 2009

Derailed by Tim Irwin

This book describes how unaddressed character flaws lead to failure, illustrated by six stories from the corporate world. Irwin discusses how the lack of authenticity, self-awareness and self-management, humility, or courage can easily lead to disaster. He encourages habits of openness, awareness, listening to early warning systems, accountability, and resiliency as safeguards against the flaws. Irwin includes personal and practical steps for self-evaluation.

Irwin's book held my interest, as it is written fairly concisely. Conveying biblical truth did not seem to be a goal of this book, although the Bible was mentioned a few times.

I would recommend this book if one is wondering about the effect of circumstances on character.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Power of Respect by Deborah Norville

Working from the premise that respect is “the most forgotten element of success”, the author emphasizes the importance of this trait at home, in relationship, at school, in business, in leadership, and, most particularly, in self. Deborah Norville talks about the difference respect makes in each of those areas, giving examples of people who demonstrated respect for others and self or who made changes, particularly in institutions such as schools and workplaces, which fostered desired changes.

The author addresses the topic of respect in a systematic, thorough way which helpful challenges and hints. One of her most powerful chapters is the last one on self-respect, in which she outlines a grid through which to view yourself, analyzing yourself for strengths and for areas needing improvement.

This book kept my interest. While it does not overtly that about the Bible, it does appropriately quote Scripture, alongside other helpful thoughts, to emphasize the importance of respect. If the need for respect is a topic which intrigues you, this book can be a help.

I do think it is a symptom of how far our society has degenerated that there now needs to be a book about a topic which was automatically ingrained in every citizen only a few short decades ago. I find that distressing and sad.