Leadership and Self-Deception

Posted February 1, 2009 in Leadership, Self-Insight, What We're Reading

Written By: The Arbinger Institute

Reviewed By: Glain Roberts-McCabe

The Premise: Most organizational and personal problems result from a pervasive yet little-known problem called self-deception, say researchers from The Arbinger Institute. To oversimplify, the book explores how our underlying and potentially unconscious feelings about a person or situation will pervade the experience… no matter what we say or do. To avoid a never ending cycle of negativity, must understand what our underlying feelings are about the person and situation and address them in order to have meaningful relationships…at work or at home.

The Bottom-line: This book was recommended to me by Kiran, one of our members and I have to rank it up there with one of my new favourites. For either seasoned or novice students of leadership, this one will push your thinking about yourself and your actions to a deeper level. And for type-A personalities, the applicability of the insights will help with relationships on the home front too. Always nice when we can kill two developmental birds with one stone, I say. The read is fast, although I did find myself reflecting back on various career points and identifying where I had been “in the box” with various individuals or in various situations. You may want to have a journal handy to capture any personal “a-ha” moments you get along the way. Again, for those of you who don’t enjoy the storytelling approach, some of the writing is clunky (why do these writers insist on describing how various characters walk over to the whiteboard?), but the message is powerful…if you’re ready for it.


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