Saturday, February 25, 2012

Book Review: "Leadership and Self-Deception"

I've been meaning to write a brief review of this book for a few weeks now, and I'm finally getting a chance to tell you about it. This one is called "Leadership and Self-Deception" by the Arbinger Institute, and I really think you should read it.

Why, what am I saying about you? That you are self-deceived? Of course. But probably not in any ways that the rest of us aren't. If you are in a leadership position of any kind, but especially if you are a family member, and most importantly if you have any interpersonal relationships of any kind (have I covered you yet?), you should read this book. Marcos brought it to my attention because it was a sworn gem by a number of leaders he knows and respects, and I love them for introducing it to us. We tried to be those people who really get into a book and then buy thirty copies for all of their dearest friends, but then we looked at the cost of buying thirty copies and I decided to tell you about the book so that you can find it on your own.

In case you were wondering, "Why is she so into this book?" this is the gist: When we ignore our promptings to serve people in our lives who need our help (and this can be really little things, not just big things), we can "get in the box" toward them, and begin to create a false "story" of sorts that helps us to justify our lack of action by inflating our virtue and lowering their "deservingness". When we are in the box towards them, we view them according to the qualities that we've assigned them in order to justify our behavior, and it isn't until we get out of the box that we can truly see and value them.

The principles are basic, and timeless, and are so simple but reading it helped me to peel back some fog that was getting in the way of seeing people in my life just as they are: people who have wants, desires, goals and needs like my own. At the risk of sounding really cheesy, I have to tell you that since reading this book things have changed in how I get along with people I am close to. Ultimately, I suspect that this book is effective because although the book uses other terminology and is not spiritual or religious at all, it is another way of applying the principles that are most important to me: love, honesty, being prompted to do the right things for others, and repentance or learning to improve.

1 comment:

Headle said...

I always love your recommendations! Thanks!! :)