Book Review: Leadership And Deception - Kicking The Self-Delusion Habit
Book Title and Edition: Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box. Second Edition.
Author: The Arbinger Institute
Condensed Review/Thesis: An entertaining fable describing the "box" of self-deception - and how we can escape to become better leaders!
Authors' Background: The Arbinger Institute specializes in providing training, consulting, coaching, and implementation tools to business teams and leaders who need a shift in mindset to achieve enhanced results.
Intended Audience: Business leaders, owners, team leaders, and managers.
Larry's Two Cents: Everyone can fall into the habit of self-deception, or denial - but, as leaders, we can be even more susceptible to the trap. Why? Because we're in positions of authority and leadership. We have to have all the answers. Yeah, right! Yet every leader I have met has had some level of self-deception, and this can get in the way of objective decision-making and cause problems for their organizations - and careers.
The Arbinger Institute uses an easily-accessible fable of a business executive, Tom runs into problems at his new job because he is trapped in a "box" of self-deception and self-justification. His relationship with his wife is spiralling downward; he's virtually estranged from his son; and his work is unsatisfying. He's blinded to the true cause of problems (i.e. HIM!) and any "solutions" he conceives actually make things worse. Through an "intervention" style discussion, Tom strips away justifications and excuses to own his behaviors, mistakes, and, ultimately, their solutions.
Read this book to recognize your self-deception (we're all guilty) and become more introspective. Don't worry; it won't hurt... much!
When To Read This Book: Do you think you have all the answers and can justify all your actions? Could be that you are "deceiving" yourself. Read the book to understand how to avoid this trap.