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Using the story/parable format so popular these days, Leadership and Self-Deception takes a novel psychological approach to leadership. It's not what you do that matters, say the authors (presumably plural--the book is credited to the esteemed Arbinger Institute), but why you do it. Latching onto the latest leadership trend won't make people follow you if your motives are selfish--people can smell a rat, even one that says it's trying to empower them. The tricky thing is, we don't know that our motivation is flawed. We deceive ourselves in subtle ways into thinking that we're doing the right thing for the right reason. We really do know what the right thing to do is, but this constant self-justification becomes such an ingrained habit that it's hard to break free of it--it's as though we're trapped in a box, the authors say.
Learning how the process of self-deception works--and how to avoid it and stay in touch with our innate sense of what's right--is at the heart of the book. We follow Tom, an old-school, by-the-book kind of guy who is a newly hired executive at Zagrum Corporation, as two senior executives show him the many ways he's "in the box," how that limits him as a leader in ways he's not aware of, and of course how to get out. This is as much a book about personal transformation as it is about leadership per se. The authors use examples from the characters' private as well as professional lives to show how self-deception skews our view of ourselves and the world and ruins our interactions with people, despite what we sincerely believe are our best intentions.
While the writing won't make John Updike lose any sleep, the story entertainingly does the job of pulling the reader in and making a potentially abstruse argument quite enjoyable. The authors have a much better ear for dialogue than is typical of the genre (the book is largely dialogue), although a certain didactic tone creeps in now and then. But ultimately it's a hopeful, even inspiring read that flows along nicely and conveys a message that more than a few managers need to hear. --Pat McGill --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"It is engaging and fresh, easy to read, and packed with insight. I couldn't recommend it more highly." -- Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
The last time I was inspired by a 'simple' book with a fictional narrative was when I read 'The Little Prince' almost 17 years ago. Read morePublished on July 22 2009 by SMB
After you read this unique leadership book you will begin to reflect on past conflicts and re-examine what happened and what was really your or the others individual's role and its... Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2007 by Caroline Williams
So much of this kind of writing is common sense once you're done the book... but this kind of common sense needs to be reinforced over and over again. Read morePublished on May 18 2004 by Daniel P. McCarthy
... but like most "leadership" books, it presents material that is more common sense than anything. However it may be the most obvious things that people overlook. Read morePublished on May 17 2004
This book is outstanding in helping with judgements and self-deception. The principles are taught and reflected in a business relationship enviorment. Read morePublished on May 11 2004 by Scott McKenzie
I had to force myself to stick with it until the end and the secret is revealed. Long, weak stories aren't really necessary. Read morePublished on March 31 2004 by Veronica White
I have read "Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box" and think it would make the old Sophists of ancient Greece proud, in that it is a masterful... Read morePublished on Oct. 31 2003
An institute is credited as the author of this book. I find it troublesome in a way. It is too impersonal for such a personal topic. Read morePublished on Oct. 12 2003 by Stephen Sherlock