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Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box Paperback – 3 May 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141030062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141030067
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Profound...engaging...packed with insight. I couldn't recommend it more
highly"
-- Stephen R. Covey, Author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

About the Author

THE ARBINGER INSTITUTE is a management training and consulting firm and scholarly consortium that includes people trained in business, law, economics, philosophy, the family, education and psychology. Together, the members of Arbinger work to apply the sweeping implications of self-deception and its solution to all aspects of organisational, community and family life.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fast delivery, packaged well and great content. I've listened to it many times. I uploaded the files to iTunes and can also listen to the cd's in the car.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think the major sticking point for me on this book was the 1st person narrative style. The book describes the induction process of a new executive within a highly successful (but fictional) business that places staff relationships above all else. There is nothing else - no research findings, no references, no additional sources. Maybe it's my cynicism but for a UK reader working in a state run institution I found this really annoying. It reminded me very much of the way management guru's do Socratic questioning; careful to include a little bit of hardship, personal disclosure and transformation but ultimate salvation (and the book is available in the foyer)!

Anyway, back to the text. If you can get over this then the book does provide a useful description of how intent precedes action, and doing things for the right reason is often the crucial difference in personal change. I also liked the implicit message of individual responsibility; too much of my own work place conflicts remain unresolved through self-justifications that are premised on the other person having the problem. Such issues are the primary thread throughout and it's hard to take issue with a book that promotes seeing colleagues as people rather than objects. I think David Bohm's book (On Dialogue) provides a better description but this book covers the main points.

In summary then, the writing style won't appeal to everyone but if your looking for a management book to pass the time this could be for you.
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book several years ago but the ideas in it have stayed with me and increased in relevance over time. I read it mainly in the hope of finding ways to 'help' other people improve and so was very resistant to the idea that I might be contributing to the problems they were causing me. However, the simplicity, elegance and depth of the concepts rang so true and were so useful to me, in all areas of my life, that I have come back to it time and time again. At the heart of Arbinger work is the concept that we are continually making a choice in our `way of being' - to be responsive and to see others as people, whose needs and desires are just as important as our own, or to be resistant and to see others as objects, whose needs and desires are not as important as out own. Connected to this is the idea of self deception, which you could describe as the assumption that I am not a problem. When I am self-deceived (which, let's face it, is most of the time!) I am creating my own problems, but I am unable to see this, and I resist any attempt to solve these problems even though I say that is what I want. Liberation lies in the continuing efforts to 'get out of the box' and see people and situations without distortion and this book provides many illustrations and tools to help you do this.
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Format: Paperback
This book tells of a manager, a CEO, a father, and a 19th century scientist who while searching diligently for their problems "out there" find that the problem is within themselves. If you're familiar with systems thinking you'll understand the science behind it. But the beauty of the book is that it's written as a business fable that follows one character through his self-discovery and correction. Along the way, you'll be drawn in as you find yourself relating to the character's challenges wanting to know what happens next in order to help yourself.

The best way to illustrate the premise behind the book, without revealing the secrets is by retelling the story of the 19th scientist, Dr Ignaz Semmelweis. As an obstetrician in the maternity ward at Vienna General Hospital he observed a high 1 in 10 mortality rate, while next door where the midwives delivered babies the mortality rate was only 1 in 50. Semmelweis researched and tested and experimented, only to discover to his horror that the doctors, who were also experimenting on cadavers, were carrying small 'particles' back to the maternity ward that sickened the women. He discovered "germs" -- and he discovered that the high mortality rate was not caused by something "out there" but by himself.

Leadership and Self-Deception sets out to answer the problem: "How can people simultaneously (1) create their own problems, (2) be unable to see that they are creating their own problems, and yet (3) resist any attempts to help them stop creating those problems?"

As I coach, I help people to recognize their role in their problems and their options to do something about it.
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Format: Hardcover
The Arbinger Institute's view on how we create (organisational) problems for ourselves and then how we "fix" them, is simple yet profound.
I've read hundreds of management , leadership and personal development books ... This one adopts the number one position - Overnight!
Whether you are struglling to influence your team or organisation to willingly embrace change; or find yourself as a parent with a "difficult" child, then this is for you.
They suggest that we suffer from 3 problems!
1 We create our own problems 2 We are blind to these problems 3 We resist wanting to fix these problems..
The book is a story (therefore any easy read!) of a new guy 6 months into his new company, attending his first review with the boss. He believes that he has done really well since he joined and is anticipating bouquets...
However, his boss (the enlightened one!) has a different view. What unfolds is a home truths session that could be you or I... dealing with the essence of why we create the problems we do with people.
Not until the final pages does the author reveal the solution.
Having read Covey, Senge, Peters etc. I found this a refreshing view of our eternal challenge with people.
Buy it and give your friends a copy!
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