Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

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Leader’s Edge (Leadership)

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, 2nd Edition

The Arbinger Institute

Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2010, 240 pages
ISBN: 978-1576759776


This book has received much acclaim and it sits atop a number of “best business book lists.” It is a leadership book written in the format of a story to highlight the author’s principles. The premise is that leaders are either “in the box” or “out of the box.” The box refers to our ability to see others as people and not just as means to an end (our end). Self-deception happens when we inflate other people’s mistakes and issues, inflate our own virtues, seek justification for these feelings, and then shift the blame onto others. When we are “in the box” we follow this pattern in our relationships and this has a negative impact on all of life. The contention is that leaders who suffer from this, harm their families, organizations, and even themselves.

The promise of the book is that we can become successful leaders only when we are free of this harmful self-deception. This will create a workplace environment that is trusting, has healthy teamwork, and promote cooperative results over personal agendas.

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