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Paperback Leadership and Self-Deception : Getting out of the Box Book

ISBN: 1576751740

ISBN13: 9781576751749

Leadership and Self-Deception : Getting out of the Box

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Book Overview

Since its original publication in 2000, Leadership and Self-Deception has become a word-of-mouth phenomenon. Its sales continue to increase year after year, and the book's popularity has gone global, with editions now available in over twenty languages. Through a story everyone can relate to about a man facing challenges on the job and in his family, the authors expose the fascinating ways that we can blind ourselves to our true motivations and unwittingly...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The essence of true leadership is revealed

This is a most unusual book on leadership. The premise here is not about leadership approaches, methodologies for managing employees in the workplace, or other business strategy, but is instead a close and powerful look at how we view others and how that view impacts our ability to lead them.The first unusual aspect of this book is the manner in which it is written. It is basically a novel. It starts with contextual story written in first person, of a man who has recently joined a successful company as an executive and is called in to meet personally with the Company senior leader. From the first few pages I was anticipating and wanting to know what would happen next. It is within this method that the leadership principles are revealed. This is an extremely important way to deliver a message. I know a few people who do not read novels, but stick to non-fiction types of books. This is a tremendous loss, as truth is most eloquently and powerfully conveyed within the context of a story. In the New Testament for example, Jesus taught most powerfully in parables, weaving truth into a common story people could relate to. In that manner this book weaves some powerful messages about leadership into a modern day parable of a business executive.The concept presented in this book of what leadership is, is also a more unusual one in that the focus is not on "what" we do behaviorally to others, our outward leadership style, as most leadership books focus on, but rather our inward view of these individuals as people. The foundational question is whether we are "in the box" or not. "In the box" refers generally to viewing others as objects through our own biased lens, which often without our knowledge inflates our self-importance while diminishing theirs. When reading this story I couldn't help but draw parallels to companies I have worked for, like GE, where the culture of leadership was in place, but despite all the tools most managers were not effective delivering them. This book will give one explanation on why.This book is personally challenging, in that the focus is not on how we act in that compartment of our lives called work, but rather who we are in relation to others in our family, our workplace, and strangers in our society. I think that the message here should be experienced, so I will not lay out all the components of the book, but rather encourage you to read to be likewise challenged about your own leadership and approach to others.One other review here I noticed was titled "could be life changing". I agree. While the basic concept is not new, the packaging of this idea is so eloquently and powerfully done, that I would guess you may also experience some awareness bursts as I did while reading it. I found myself re-examining many aspects of how I lead my team at work, how I interact with peers and co-workers, and how I related to my wife. Simply put, a great book on leadership that would benefit anyone who reads it. Well done.

You can't go wrong with this book!

There are three types of business books. The first has the literary taste and texture of recycled cardboard, with platitudes as plentiful as the mosquitoes on your last camping trip. Then there are the "empty calorie" books, offering a fleeting sense of exhilaration--that is, until you actually stop to ponder how any of this feel-good nonsense is really going to make a difference in your day-to-day work experience. On occasion, one finds a book that is both pleasing to read and at the same time provides information that can be applied directly to improving one's work performance and enjoyment. Leadership and Self-Deception, by the Arbinger Institute, falls into this latter category.Although targeted towards the business leader, L & SD explores a fundamental problem that is not necessarily limited to the world of the corporate jungle. The problem, which is both philosophically deep yet surprisingly simple, is self-deception. A founding principle of the book is that we are self-deceived when we have a problem, but don't know that we do, resulting in perceptions and actions that are damaging and counter-productive. L & SD clearly illustrates how we become self-deceived and, more importantly, how we can remove ourselves from this predicament. L & SD is surprisingly fresh, insightful, and potentially rewarding for those who put the principles into practice. From the preface: "Our experience in teaching about self-deception and its solution is that people find this knowledge liberating. It sharpens vision, reduces feelings of conflict, enlivens the desire for teamwork, redoubles accountability, magnifies the capacity to achieve results, and deepens satisfaction and happiness." This was precisely my experience with reading the book.

I Have Met the Enemy: Me

Those who think highly of Who Moved My Cheese? will find this book especially valuable as they attempt to understand why so many people create their own problems, are unable to see that they are creating their own problems, and then resist any attempts by others to help them stop this disruptive cycle. The authors create a hypothetical situation in which a recently hired senior-level executive, Tom Callum, is settling into his new duties at Zagrum Company. He is surprised to learn that part of his orientation involves understanding what is identified to him as "the box." As revealed in the narrative which develops (Tom is the narrator), self-betrayal occurs when we fail to do what we know we should do. Rather than accept responsibility, we blame someone else. As this pattern of self-deception continues, we begin to see the world in a way that justifies us. As a result, whether we realize it or not (probably not), we find ourselves in "the box." It is important to understand that the box is not a fixed enclosure. People haul it around wherever they go, from one situation to the next, indeed from one job to the next, and from one marriage to the next. At the end of the business day, they take it home with them. I like the box metaphor because it correctly suggests enclosure and captivity. But in a sense, the box also resembles apparel. A raincoat, for example. Those who are in the box should have two separate but related objectives: Get out of the box and then stay out of the box. How? Good question. Through their skillful presentation of various conversations between and among Tom and his associates at Zagrum Company, the authors answer that question by offering several specific suggestions. It would be inappropriate for me to reveal them now.But think about it. How many times have you been in this situation? You know what you should do for another person but you don`t do it. This is self-betrayal. (Sound familiar?) Then you devise all manner of self-justifications. Perhaps you have said something to the effect that "It's not my job" or "It's not my responsibility" or "It wouldn't make any difference to her anyway" or "He got what he deserves." This is self-deception. By the end of the book, Tom has completed Phase 1 of what the authors identify as a three-phase Results System™ and we have accompanied him each step of the way. The book ends with much of his personal growth yet to be completed. At this point, I offer a word of caution: Please do not conclude that this brief commentary reveals everything you need to know about this remarkable book. I urge you to obtain a copy immediately and read it, then re-read it. It can be valuable to your understanding of why so many people create their own problems, are unable and/or unwilling to see that they are creating their own problems, and then resist any attempts by others to help them stop creating those problems. This book will be even more valuable if you are among them...the "so many people."

Buy this Book!

Read it, absorb it, ponder it, be changed!This is a fascinating story illustrating a set of principles which, because of the fundimental truths involved, has the power to change lives. This book reminds me of reading "The Greatest Salesman in the World" and though different in style and scope, should be as big as any of Og Mandino's best-sellers. I believe it will be once the word gets out to those who seek inspiration from the worlds best books.This isn't just another "how to" type book. I personally found that I have been "in the box" of self deception for much of my life. I didn't realize, until it crystalized on the pages of this book, how much I have been blaming others for that which I should have been accepting responsibility. I don't consider myself a great leader of men, but this book speaks to me personally and applies to all who have relationships within this great human family.

It's More Than a Book...

Leadership and Self-Deception is more than a book. It's a powerful key to change--personal and professional. Don't expect to read it without being transformed, at least if you read it honestly. It speaks to the heart of human relations isues like not other business book I have encountered. I was stunned, and I'd have to say awakened, by its explanation of interpersonal problems--and I mean the whole range of problems. And I love how the ideas unfold in fiction where I met myself fact to face in the stories of the characters in the book. I truly could not put it down--nor can I resist picking it back up, pondering and applying it. It ranks way at the top of the most powerful life-changing pieces of literature I've read in my lifetime. A must-read for everyone in and outside of business.
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