“Driving Straight on Crooked Lines” is not about commerce or strategy. It is about purpose, discovery, and character told from the idealistic perspective of an Irishman who “found his heart and nearly lost his mind.” It can help you clarify your own position and the sort of leader you aspire to be. It might even show you how organizational genius and dysfunctional leadership can be at odds with each other, pulling employees and their leaders in opposite directions. By engaging with an organization (a Catholic religious order) quite different to your own business, you perhaps can think more intuitively about situations and ideas that challenge you, frighten you, or annoy you.
Every so often, business leaders need to rethink the ideas that drive them and make organizations run. Success in business as in life is not the result of following some guru’s checklist – even though it is the implied message from many business books: do these things and you too can become an inspirational hero.
Success in life and in business is complex. To my mind, leadership must engage the sum total of who we are. It relates to how we deal with our families, our spouses and children, our employees, customers, stakeholders, and our creditors. “Driving Straight on Crooked Lines” may help you rethink some of your own ideas about purpose, leadership and organizations.