Customer Review

53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Have Met the Enemy: Me, October 24, 2000
This review is from: Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box (Hardcover)
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."
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Robert Morris
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Location: Dallas, Texas

Top Reviewer Ranking: 126