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Leadership And Self-Deception: Getting Out Of The Box
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Leadership And Self-Deception: Getting Out Of The Box

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,139 Ratings  ·  1,418 Reviews
Most personal and organizational problems are the result of a little-known phenomenon called self-deception. We deceive ourselves into thinking we re doing the right thing for the right reason, but people won t follow a leader whose motives are selfish. The tricky thing is, we don t know that our motivation is flawed. Through an entertaining and highly instructive story, t ...more
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Published November 30th 2004 by AudioGO (first published January 1st 2000)
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Feb 02, 2011 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard book to read - not because the language or ideas are lofty (just the opposite, the ideas have been made extremely accessible) -- the reason this book was hard to read, is because it nearly forces you to take a hard look at the way you live, the way you treat others, and the way you navigate through business, personal, and other situations.

The biggest take aways from this book, in my humble opinion, are that we often are at least part of the cause of the problems that we *blame* o
Feb 17, 2008 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-growth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 02, 2012 London rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I like to refer to this book as "the worst book I ever finished reading". Meaning that I kept reading it all the way to the end (including the 20 or so pages of Arbinger Institute sales pitch), which was long past the point where I wanted to put it down and not pick it back up again. What really got me was the condescending tone of the narrator. Others have described the same thing as "simplifying concepts to almost childlike speaking" but in reality, the narrator is so condescending to the read ...more
Eric Glenn
Aug 14, 2010 Eric Glenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in one day...I just couldn't put it down. An excellent book on how to be a better person and leader. Really set well with my beliefs on building relationships which are the love of others versus love of self. I think I will buy this book for each of my adult children to read. Hopefully they can learn these concepts faster than the 52 years it has taken me!

It is also a MUST read for leaders in business, especially if you are involved in Network Marketing. Really it is a must rea
Laura Broder
Mar 24, 2010 Laura Broder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I'm serious.

I'm not really into management books, but this one was recommended to me by a friend and mentor who I respect immensely. She gave me her copy months and months ago, and boy do I wish I picked it up sooner.

Firstly, this book is incredibly readable. Though it's about communication and interpersonal relationships, it's not a dry, non-fiction handbook. The concepts the book present are unveiled slowly, through a fictional story. Tons of real-life examples are use
Apr 04, 2013 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work-related
Good principles, a good teaching tool for organizations, but painful to get through.

I assume the story format is aimed to make the read easier to get through and understand, but instead it felt like a local TV commercial with a bad script. I would prefer that the narrator was straight, to-the-point and speaking to the reader. Examples are helpful, but following Tom's slow learning process made me feel like I was in a math class that I was too advanced for, ready to move on to the more complicate
Nov 18, 2008 VR rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a full and satisfied life
Recommended to VR by: Judge Memmott
A book that teaches powerful principles that I have already begun implementing to great effect in my own life. The principles we already know for the most part, and the general truths don't surprise, but The Arbinger Institute has blended and crafted them in such a way as to help us really put it all together. My favorite and most meaningful insight is that when we are "in the box" it doesn't matter what we do, how helpful or good we try to be, we will end up defeating ourselves. Forget blame an ...more
Jan 19, 2009 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I came into work one day, and this book was on my desk with no note attached. I picked it up, flipped it over, and read the first quote on the back: "Fascinating, thought provoking, and insightful! This book is a wake-up call to all those who think they're good with people..."[return][return]Wait. What?! Was somebody trying to tell me something? Was this some passive-aggressive attempt at telling me I'm a bear to work with? I could actually feel my heart drop and hit my stomach. I hid the book u ...more
Farnoosh Brock
Apr 13, 2013 Farnoosh Brock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-spirit
The premise of this book focuses on one's own limited view of people, relationships, and organizational dynamics and clearly shows them as obstacles to one's optimal performance and productivity. The Arbinger Institute reveals the new thoughts and debunks false notions around leadership. The best leadership and business books weave the concepts into a story rather than disseminate them in dry abstract paragraphs. Try as it may, abstraction always comes short of making us engage and anticipate th ...more
Mar 16, 2009 Cameron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Life changing way to look at the people around us and our influence on them.

I have just gone through this book with another student and it has changed his life. He just apologized to his father for some serious stuff that he would not admit to in the past. He said he does not like his dad still but needs to treat him as a person because that is more fair.

What better endorsement for a book?

This is the fourth student I have gone through this book with and it is a great intervention in therapy. I h
Jesse Stay
Jan 09, 2013 Jesse Stay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jesse by: David Barlow
Shelves: improving-life
A guidebook for life! This excellent book uses a fictional example to get you thinking "out of the box" in how you interact with others, both in business and in your personal life. This should be mandatory reading for every employee and family member. You find yourself in the shoes of the characters as they go through problems in their lives, realizing that we all have these same problems in our relationships with people. I'll be having my kids all read this! This book will help you, and everyon ...more
James Briggs
Dec 22, 2014 James Briggs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent read, and very similar to "The Anatomy of Peace". It's been a while since I read The Anatomy of Peace so I couldn't say which one I liked more. I did feel that Leadership and Self-Deception had more of a focus on business, and although I know the principles can be used in all situations and relationships it made it a little hard to constantly follow.
There are still so many strong points to Leadership and Self-deception. The concepts are powerful, and made very clear. The simple
Antoinette Perez
Really struggled with this book, and I see from the average rating that I'm in the minority here. The contrived fable format... the condescending, read-my-mind closed question interrogations... the shallow introspection... the insistence on the reader forgetting what he or she knows about the phrases "in the box" and "out of the box" to adopt a new meaning just for this book... long-winded (pages-long) pseudo-explanations of new concepts and jargon that only muddy the waters more, like this exce ...more
Dan George
May 19, 2014 Dan George rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
The core ideas in the book -- what the authors call getting "in the box" toward others and how to get out of the box -- are helpful. However, two things keep me from giving this book a higher rating.

First, the story the authors use to introduce these core ideas to the reader could have been much shorter with higher impact. See Patrick Lencioni's business fables for an example of that.

Second, two key terms in the book -- "in the box" and "self-betrayal" -- are not good fits for what the authors
Jun 30, 2015 D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only thing wrong with this book is the slightly off-putting title. It's accurate! But seems awkward somehow. And I'll admit the "fable" trope is being pushed to its limits. But I found it to be an excellent explication of the drama triangle and the human tendency to see others two-dimensionally, through a very screwed-up fun house mirror. I think anyone who needs to relate to any other human beings could use the tools in this book to be more effective in their communications. I'm grateful th ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had picked this little charmer up cheap somewhere and thought, “Another business book on leadership, this should be good.” And it seemed at first to be guaranteed to deliver all I have come to love about “success “literature”” (to quote a character from Gaddis’ “JR” “Stop calling it that!”) As the story begins, a young lawyer is criticized for selfishly thinking about his wife and new baby rather than the “deal” he is supposed to be working on. Oh certainly, I thought, in a book about how to b ...more
Tien Phat Nguyen
A great and easy-to-read book about leadership. The principles "inside the box", "out of the box", "self-deception" may seem vague at first, and the way the book's story starts may also seems to mark just another ordinary book, but as I go on reading and put critical thinking in the concepts discussed, I started to realize I can apply almost all the principles of the book to make my life and relationship better.

This book is not just about leadership, it can also help you grow and develop a diff
May 10, 2015 Gig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main idea of this book is simple. To end a conflict, whether it's with your boss/colleagues/partner or whoever you can think of, is to stop the blame game (even if you truly think they're assholes and you are the victim) and to realize how your thoughts and actions could affect others. This book suggests you to stay as positive as you can if you want to turn your situations around.

However, you've got to feel positive in your heart; otherwise, your negative attitude will still be detected. T
Joy Gardner
Oct 19, 2007 Joy Gardner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book about what it really means to be a leader and inspire change.
Nov 07, 2008 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Business people, leaders, parents
Recommended to Alison by: Tess Odsessy
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is an important read for anyone in leadership, whether they are businesspeople, parents, principals or pastors. The basic message is that it is important to be really genuine about our motives, and to be aware that sometimes our motives are not even clear to ourselves. As much as we are loathe to admit it, we are all capable of manipulation. The key to earning the trust and loyalty of people you lead is to take a genuine, active interest in their hopes and aspirations. People aren't st ...more
Jan 22, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would recommend this book highly. This is the text of a negative review posted on Amazon, and although the reader was not thrilled with the book their synopsis is good, I think:

I expected more than this:

People problems are at the root of most problems.

Self deception affects every aspect of life; it is the central problem of leadership.
More than your external behavior, people respond to how you feel about them. Do you see them as full persons or as objects or problems? They can tell. When yo
"WHAT?" you say to yourself. WHAT is this fantasy-story-loving girl doing reading a book that demands shelving on the business/psychology shelf? And a valid question it is. I would never in one thousand years have picked it up if my dearly beloved husband hadn't read it first and told me that it changed his life. Changed it to the point where I am SEEING him look at the world in a different way. And when my husband, who has watched me read for 11+ years now and has never once asked me to read so ...more
Mar 21, 2010 K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: change-your-life
Wow, I didn't review this?

Just read it again this week in preparation to go to an Arbinger parenting seminar on Friday (which was AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, FANTASTIC).

What's so life-changing about this book? Discoving that all my problems come from one place. ME. Who can fix my problems? ME. That's a simple statement, but an incredibly complex idea.

I don't have the time or the space here to give an adequate or even totally reliable reason this book is so great. All I can say, is, if you trust me a
Aug 26, 2010 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Joe by: Michael Eckelkamp
Shelves: ministry
I'm not even sure where to begin. I heard about the box at a ministry development event and, while I hadn't read it beforehand, upon hearing about it, I realized that I needed to ... so I ordered it from my iPhone before the day finished. That was one week ago today.

As I look back on my work, my marriage, and most of my life, I now see self-deception that has done harm in just about every area in my life. I can see how I've continually blamed others in just about every aspect of my life in attem
Mar 03, 2014 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leadership and Self-Deception was written by the Arbinger Institute, an organization that has Microsoft, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Nike, Intel, Nokia, USA Today, Cornell University, the NFL, 3M, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Treasury, and many others as clients. In the book, they use a basic story as their delivery method for the information. However, this overarching narrative is not engaging, as it lacks tension and fails to create empathy for the characters. However, there are shorter nar ...more
Aug 18, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book and gives clarity to the scripture in Matthew 7:3-5 "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." Though this book does not quote any scripture ...more
Mark Fallon
Jul 11, 2015 Mark Fallon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant find at the local library book sale. A "leadership fable" explaining The Arsbinger Institute's "box approach" towards resolving self-deception. Good reinforcement of the importance of seeing others as people - not objects, and questioning our own attitudes and perceptions before dismissing another point of view.
May 12, 2015 Chocho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book knows how to keep your attention by getting the message to you through an office setting dialogue. The title and setting gives you an impression that it best suits a managerial level in the work place, but the principle can actually be applied "by anyone" to work, at home, social gathering, and so on... I learned that I must treat people with respect by acknowledging their feelings, just like how I acknowledge mine. I learned that the way we are treated by people around us depends on h ...more
Sep 05, 2014 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-reread, kindle
I expected this book to be one of those typical "how to be a strong leader" books that takes a fairly clinical look at organizations and good and bad examples of leadership. Instead, I found a story about leadership that led to a lot of self-reflection. The structure of the book lent itself to easy reading--short chapters with cliff-hangers that lead you into the next chapter. But what really kept my interest was that I saw myself--my own weaknesses and behaviors--in the story. I find myself "in ...more
Feb 19, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a quick read and I thought it was very enlightening. I attended a training based on this book the last 2 days and it was some of the best leadership training I've ever had. Bonus: the principles in this book are applicable in your professional and personal relationships.
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Early on, Arbinger’s growth was fueled solely by clients who spread the word about Arbinger’s impact. Arbinger’s public profile was then dramatically increased by the global success of its first book, Leadership & Self De
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“Self-betrayal” 1. An act contrary to what I feel I should do for another is called an act of “self-betrayal.” 2. When I betray myself, I begin to see the world in a way that justifies my self-betrayal. 3. When I see the world in a self-justifying way, my view of reality becomes distorted. 4. So — when I betray myself, I enter the box.” 1 likes
“Living the material Don’t try to be perfect. Do try to be better. Don’t use the vocabulary—“the box,” and so on—with people who don’t already know it. Do use the principles in your own life. Don’t look for others’ boxes. Do look for your own. Don’t accuse others of being in the box. Do try to stay out of the box yourself. Don’t give up on yourself when you” 1 likes
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