Jim Lord with Pam MacAllister

What Kind of World Do You Want (WKW), while written in a blithe spirit, is patently profound and a delightfully constructive jewel. It is a book intended to inspire and guide group leaders and laymen in their quest to improve their organizations and society, in general. It works.

What the authors dub “idealism”, I call “positivism”. The philosophy of “The Little Engine That Could” (another of my lifelong tenets) is pervasive and infectious. WKW brings to mind so many treasured books from my youth (Peele’s “The Power of Positive Thinking”, Conwell’s classic “Acres of Diamonds”, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, Allen’s immortal “As A Man Thinketh”, and Carnegie’s cornerstone of success, “How To Win Friends and Influence People”). I loved WKW’s kindly firm rejection of Christianity’s negative “sinner complex” and the similar spin in which the media cloaks most events. Also salutary were the emphasis on minimizing negative “venting” and on looking within for solutions (rather than for handouts) and noting that leadership can sometimes be little more “than just showing up”, thus bolstering the courage of timorous leaders.

Then, too, it is always uplifting and edifying to savor references to brighter minds than ours, with which the book overflows, including some personal favorites of mine: Lao Tsu, Schopenhauer, Wm. James, Gandhi, Disraeli, a Zen master, and Shaw’s “Pygmalion”. Such tiny but irresistible morsels could well inspire some to dig into any of the sources quoted.

My variances with WKW are too minor to mention, and, as David Hume said, “Reasonable minds will sometimes differ.” On balance, WKW is a magical tool for training young (and older) leaders and a fine reminder of the key principles for a positive life.