Leadership and Self-Deception 2nd Edition

Getting Out of the Box

| 199 pages

Leadership and Self-Deception

Reveals how we unwittingly sabotage relationships, at work and at home, despite our best intentions—and how we can stop.

  • International bestseller-over 750,000 copies sold and translated into 22 languages

  • Revised throughout, with a new section to help readers apply the lessons in the book

  • Reveals how we unwittingly sabotage relationships, at work and at home, despite our best intentions-and how we can stop

Interview with Jim Ferrell, Arbinger Institute CEO

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Since its original publication nine years ago, Leadership and Self-Deception has become an international word-of-mouth phenomenon. Rather than tapering off, it has sold more copies each year since 2004 than it did in any of the first four years after publication. The book's central insight-that the key to leadership lays not in what we do, but in who we are-has proved to have powerful resonances not only for organizational leadership, but in readers' personal lives as well.

This new edition has been revised throughout to make the story more readable and compelling. And drawing on the extensive correspondence the authors have received over the years they have added a section that outlines the many ways that readers have been using Leadership and Self-Deception, focusing on five specific areas: hiring, teambuilding, conflict resolution, accountability, and personal growth and development.

Leadership and Self-Deception uses an entertaining story about an executive facing challenges at work and at home to expose the subtle psychological processes that conceal our true motivations and intentions from us and trap us in a "box" of endless self-justification-even when we're convinced we're doing the right thing. Most importantly, the book shows us the way out. Readers will discover what millions already have-how to consistently tap into and act on their innate sense of what's right, dramatically improving all of their relationships.

What sets this book apart from similar titles

The Five Temptations of a CEO points out five valid temptations, but it overlooks the most seductive temptation of them all: the temptation to shut your eyes to your own faults. Leadership and Self-Deception walks you through the emotional journey of learning to see your own faults, a vital prerequisite for change and transformation. Similarly, Why We Make Mistakes points out many different reasons human beings fall into error, but doesn't force you into that introspection that will help you avoid making those errors in the future. Leadership and Self Deception uses storytelling to show you how to take the blinders off your own vision. Finally, books like The Goal teach you how to focus on your organization's weakest link, but forget to include anything about finding the weak link within yourself. This is why Leadership and Self-Deception is an invaluable, unique book and a consistent best seller.
  • The Five Temptations of a CEO points out five valid temptations, but it overlooks the most seductive temptation of them all: the temptation to shut your eyes to your own faults. Leadership and Self-Deception walks you through the emotional journey of learning to see your own faults, a vital prerequisite for change and transformation.
  • Similarly, Why We Make Mistakes points out many different reasons human beings fall into error, but doesn't force you into that introspection that will help you avoid making those errors in the future. Leadership and Self Deception uses storytelling to show you how to take the blinders off your own vision.
  • Finally, books like The Goal teach you how to focus on your organization's weakest link, but forget to include anything about finding the weak link within yourself. This is why Leadership and Self-Deception is an invaluable, unique book and a consistent best seller.

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Overview

Reveals how we unwittingly sabotage relationships, at work and at home, despite our best intentions—and how we can stop.

  • International bestseller-over 750,000 copies sold and translated into 22 languages

  • Revised throughout, with a new section to help readers apply the lessons in the book

  • Reveals how we unwittingly sabotage relationships, at work and at home, despite our best intentions-and how we can stop

Interview with Jim Ferrell, Arbinger Institute CEO

(takes 10-20 seconds to load)


Since its original publication nine years ago, Leadership and Self-Deception has become an international word-of-mouth phenomenon. Rather than tapering off, it has sold more copies each year since 2004 than it did in any of the first four years after publication. The book's central insight-that the key to leadership lays not in what we do, but in who we are-has proved to have powerful resonances not only for organizational leadership, but in readers' personal lives as well.

This new edition has been revised throughout to make the story more readable and compelling. And drawing on the extensive correspondence the authors have received over the years they have added a section that outlines the many ways that readers have been using Leadership and Self-Deception, focusing on five specific areas: hiring, teambuilding, conflict resolution, accountability, and personal growth and development.

Leadership and Self-Deception uses an entertaining story about an executive facing challenges at work and at home to expose the subtle psychological processes that conceal our true motivations and intentions from us and trap us in a "box" of endless self-justification-even when we're convinced we're doing the right thing. Most importantly, the book shows us the way out. Readers will discover what millions already have-how to consistently tap into and act on their innate sense of what's right, dramatically improving all of their relationships.

What sets this book apart from similar titles

The Five Temptations of a CEO points out five valid temptations, but it overlooks the most seductive temptation of them all: the temptation to shut your eyes to your own faults. Leadership and Self-Deception walks you through the emotional journey of learning to see your own faults, a vital prerequisite for change and transformation. Similarly, Why We Make Mistakes points out many different reasons human beings fall into error, but doesn't force you into that introspection that will help you avoid making those errors in the future. Leadership and Self Deception uses storytelling to show you how to take the blinders off your own vision. Finally, books like The Goal teach you how to focus on your organization's weakest link, but forget to include anything about finding the weak link within yourself. This is why Leadership and Self-Deception is an invaluable, unique book and a consistent best seller.
  • The Five Temptations of a CEO points out five valid temptations, but it overlooks the most seductive temptation of them all: the temptation to shut your eyes to your own faults. Leadership and Self-Deception walks you through the emotional journey of learning to see your own faults, a vital prerequisite for change and transformation.
  • Similarly, Why We Make Mistakes points out many different reasons human beings fall into error, but doesn't force you into that introspection that will help you avoid making those errors in the future. Leadership and Self Deception uses storytelling to show you how to take the blinders off your own vision.
  • Finally, books like The Goal teach you how to focus on your organization's weakest link, but forget to include anything about finding the weak link within yourself. This is why Leadership and Self-Deception is an invaluable, unique book and a consistent best seller.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Arbinger Institute


The word'arbinger' is the ancient French spelling of'harbinger': one who indicates or foreshadows what is to come; a forerunner. The Arbinger Institute is a harbinger of change.

Arbinger is a worldwide consulting company and think tank comprising people who have been trained in business, law, economics, philosophy, family dynamics, education, coaching, and psychology. The members of Arbinger come from diverse cultural backgrounds and from all religious and nonreligious traditions and belief systems. What they share is a deep understanding and passion for the ideas underlying Arbinger's work--a compelling model of human understanding and motivation that explains the ubiquitous problem of self-deception and how to solve it.

Arbinger's mission grows out of the work of an international team of scholars that broke new ground in solving the age-old problem of self-deception, or what was originally called "resistance." Arbinger was founded to translate this important work on self-deception--and its solution--into practical effect for individuals, families, and organizations worldwide.

Arbinger has grown from a small organization with only ten facilitators and staff members in 2000 to an international organization with over 300 facilitators, coaches, and staff members offering public courses, consulting and coaching services, and tailored organizational interventions. The members of Arbinger are mobilized to help organizations, communities, individuals, families, educators, those in the criminal justice system, and helping professionals. Arbinger's clients range from individuals who are seeking help in their lives to many of the largest companies and governmental institutions in the world. Among these organizational clients are Microsoft, IBM, ATT, Lockheed Martin, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Intel, Nokia, USA Today, Cornell University, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Justice Department, the Energy Department, and the Treasury.

For more information please visit the Arbinger Institute online here

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Reviews

By Berrett-Koehler Staff , December 9, 2014
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Preface

Part One: Self-Deception and the "Box"

Chapter 1: Bud

Chapter 2: A Problem

Chapter 3: Self-Deception

Chapter 4: The Problem beneath Other Problems

Chapter 5: Beneath Effective Leadership

Chapter 6: The Deep Choice That Determines Influence

Chapter 7: People or Objects

Chapter 8: Doubt

Part Two: How We Get In the Box

Chapter 9: Kate

Chapter 10: Questions

Chapter 11: Self-Betrayal

Chapter 12: Characteristics of Self-Betrayal

Chapter 13: Life in the Box

Chapter 14: Collusion

Chapter 15: Box Focus

Chapter 16: Box Problems

Part Three: How We Get Out of the Box

Chapter 17: Lou

Chapter 18: Leadership in the Box

Chapter 19: Toward Being Out of the Box

Chapter 20: Dead Ends

Chapter 21: The Way Out

Chapter 22: Leadership Out of the Box

Chapter 23: Birth of a Leader

Chapter 24: Another Chance

How to Use Leadership and Self-Deception

Share Your Story

Index

Excerpt from The Anatomy of Peace

About The Arbinger Institute

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Leadership and Self-Deception

1 Bud

It was a brilliant summer morning shortly before nine, and I was hurrying to the most important meeting of my new job at Zagrum Company. As I walked across the tree-lined grounds, I recalled the day two months earlier when I had first entered the secluded campus-style headquarters to interview for a senior management position. I had been watching the company for more than a decade from my perch at one of its competitors and had tired of finishing second. After eight interviews and three weeks spent doubting myself and waiting for news, I was hired to lead one of Zagrum’s product lines.

Now, four weeks later, I was about to be introduced to a senior management ritual peculiar to Zagrum: a daylong one-on-one meeting with the executive vice president, Bud Jefferson. Bud was the right-hand man to Zagrum’s president, Kate Stenarude. And due to a shift within the executive team, he was about to become my new boss.

I had tried to find out what this meeting was all about, but my colleagues’ explanations confused me. They mentioned a discovery that solved “people problems”; how no one really focused on results; and that something about the “Bud Meeting,” as it was called, and strategies that evidently followed from it, was key to Zagrum’s incredible success. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I was eager to meet, and impress, my new boss.

Bud Jefferson was a youngish-looking 50-year-old combination of odd-fitting characteristics: a wealthy man who drove around in an economy car without hubcaps; a near–high school dropout who had graduated with law and business degrees, summa cum laude, from Harvard; a connoisseur of the arts who was hooked on the Beatles. Despite his apparent contradictions, and perhaps partly because of them, Bud was revered as something of an icon. He was universally admired in the company.

It took 10 minutes on foot to cover the distance from my office in Building 8 to the lobby of the Central Building. The pathway — one of many connecting Zagrum’s 10 buildings — meandered beneath oak and maple canopies along the banks of Kate’s Creek, a postcard-perfect stream that was the brainchild of Kate Stenarude and had been named after her by the employees.

As I scaled the Central Building’s hanging steel stairway up to the third floor, I reviewed my performance during my month at Zagrum: I was always among the earliest to arrive and latest to leave. I felt that I was focused and didn’t let outside matters interfere with my objectives. Although my wife often complained about it, I was making a point to outwork and outshine every coworker who might compete for promotions in the coming years. I nodded to myself in satisfaction. I had nothing to be ashamed of. I was ready to meet Bud Jefferson.

Arriving in the main lobby of the third floor, I was greeted by Bud’s secretary, Maria. “You must be Tom Callum,” she said with enthusiasm.

“Yes, thank you. I have an appointment with Bud for nine o’clock,” I said.

“Yes. Bud asked me to have you wait for him in the East-view Room. He should be with you in about five minutes.” Maria escorted me down the hall and into a large conference room. I went to the long bank of windows and admired the views of the campus between the leaves of the green Connecticut woods. A minute or so later, there was a brisk knock on the door, and in walked Bud.

“Hello, Tom. Thanks for coming,” he said with a big smile as he offered his hand. “Please, sit down. Can I get you something to drink? Coffee, juice?”

“No, thank you,” I replied, “I’ve had plenty already this morning.”

I settled in the black leather chair nearest me, my back to the window, and waited for Bud as he poured himself some water in the serving area in the corner. He walked back with his water, bringing the pitcher and an extra glass with him. He set them on the table between us. “Sometimes things can get pretty hot in here. We have a lot to do this morning. Please feel free whenever you’d like.”

“Thanks,” I stammered. I was grateful for the gesture but more unsure than ever what this was all about.

“Tom,” said Bud abruptly, “I’ve asked you to come today for one reason — an important reason.”

“Okay,” I said evenly, trying to mask the anxiety I was feeling.

“You have a problem — a problem you’re going to have to solve if you’re going to make it at Zagrum.”

I felt as if I’d been kicked in the stomach. I groped for some appropriate word or sound, but my mind was racing and words failed me. I was immediately conscious of the pounding of my heart and the sensation of blood draining from my face.

As successful as I had been in my career, one of my hidden weaknesses was that I was too easily knocked off balance. I had learned to compensate by training the muscles in my face and eyes to relax so that no sudden twitch would betray my alarm. And now, it was as if my face instinctively knew that it had to detach itself from my heart or I would be found out to be the same cowering third-grader who broke into an anxious sweat, hoping for a “well done” sticker, every time Mrs. Lee passed back the homework.

Finally I managed to say, “A problem? What do you mean?”

“Do you really want to know?” asked Bud.

“I’m not sure. I guess I need to, from the sound of it.”

“Yes,” Bud agreed, “you do.”

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Endorsements

“Profound, with deep and sweeping implications…It is engaging and fresh, easy to read, and packed with insights. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.”

—Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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