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Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box Hardcover – June 12, 2000
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This straightforward book explains how leaders can discover their own self-deceptions and learn how to escape destructive patterns. The authors demonstrate that breaking out of these patterns leads to improved teamwork, commitment, trust, communication, motivation, and leadership.
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This book was recommended to me by a fellow who was seriously self-deceptive. He and I have since recommended it to many others.
Unlike many unlikable books that dwell too much on story more than bullet points, I found myself engrossed in this story. Living it out with the author over several days, maybe weeks of reading, helped bring it to life.
This is a pretty gentle way to bring up and work through a very hard subject. Read it for yourself first. Change yourself before trying to change somebody else.
Still that's perhaps not a problem for most readers, and I guess that many people would find this approach more interesting to read than a straight discussion of the principles.
Follow the journey of Tom Callum as he is introduced to the principles that have set Zagrum Company apart from the competition. You'll be introduced to the principles of self-deception, self-betrayal, and being in or out of "the box". The critical point the reader will learn here is that we all spend a great deal of time in the box and when we are in the box, we are not operating anywhere near where we should. Furthermore, being in the box effects not only our work, but all inter-personal relationships and interactions in life.
Not to worry, though. The authors won't leave you hanging. Tom later learns, as his training continues, how to step out of the box. Although he also learns that what he has learned, and what this story covers, is only the first phase of a three part plan. It is a little disappointing to not be introduced to the second and third parts of the Arbinger Institutes plan, but don't let that stop you from reading this book.
In fact, you probably won't just read this book and be done with it. I plan to re-read this immediately. It is simply too much to fully comprehend in one reading, at least it was for me. The story is entertaining. The lessons are well presented and logical. What you take away will be invaluable. I see many ways of implementing what I have learned here, not just in business situations, but in marriage coaching as well. These are principles that will affect all aspects of life and business.
I am a mental health therapist so I often stop reading self help books because they are often too simplified and shallow for my taste. This book is written in a "novel" flavor, lots of dialog. It is using very simple language to express empowering and deep concepts of how we can so easily treat others as objects without realizing how painful it is for others.
I found myself in tears many times as my husband would read a paragraph that would describe what has been going on in a relationship for almost a decade. It is all so subtle I could not find words that made sense to him and over time I became withdrawn and guarded. We are still reading the book and almost done with it now. We have had hours of meaningful and healing discussions and now we are closer than we've ever been.
This book is about working in business, which is what he does. It's about how to be a better manager and boss. The principles are easily transferred to any relationship.
I whole-heartedly recomend this book for anyone who craves meaningful connections with others, especially if you are a man or have trouble understanding how to be an authority figure and yet stay heart-connected with your family and those with whom you need to manage or supervise.