Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box (Easyread Large Edition)” as Want to Read:
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box (Easyread Large Edition)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box (Easyread Large Edition)

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  15,385 Ratings  ·  1,639 Reviews
For too long, the issue of self-deception has been the realm of deep-thinking philosophers, academics, and scholars working on the central questions of the human sciences. The public remains generally unaware of the issue. That would be fine except that self-deception is so pervasive it touches every aspect of life. "Touches" is perhaps too gentle a word to describe its in ...more
Paperback, Large Print, 306 pages
Published October 13th 2008 by ReadHowYouWant (first published January 1st 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
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
Apr 02, 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
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.
Eric Glenn
Aug 13, 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
Feb 22, 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
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
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
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
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
Sep 09, 2008 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
Jenny Stringham
Good ideas, and a clever way of communicating the ideas while keeping the reader engaged. A little hokey in parts, but it worked good for the subject I thought.
Thai Duc
Jun 18, 2017 Thai Duc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
People should read the book. It gives a new way of looking at our behaviors. It gives you an option to look at your acting. By knowing them, you can gradually live a better life, run organizations better. The book does not give you answers for your problems. It gives you the truth.
I love the "Box" concept and the drawing. The drawing delivered a big impact on my memory.
While reading the book, I reflected, I got so many ah-ha moments. The book is my environment to open the other sides of the box.
Ambika Rani K
A must read book for everyone who thinks he is right all the time and the other person is wrong. A book which serves as a compendium in resolving every troubled relationship in your life.
"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
Abe Smith
Sep 09, 2016 Abe Smith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I thought the book had some excellent five star concepts and ideas but it was just a 3 star read. Although the book didn't unnecessarily rehash ideas as business books are prone to do, I felt that it was sometimes difficult to extract the principles being taught because of the story-style way of presenting the material. That said, I plan on implementing a couple of their ideas which I believe can be life altering.
❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...
Interesting way of thinking that takes some practice for most people. For some reason, I tend to think this way most of the time. I do need to consider this whenever I start to feel my frustration levels rise with someone.
Joy Gardner
Oct 18, 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.
Barry Davis
Jun 11, 2017 Barry Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Subtitled “Getting Out of the Box”, uses the parable of a fictional company, agrum, and a new employee, tom Callum, to learn how to think and act “outside of the box”, avoiding the pitfalls of self-deception.

Based on the work of Arbinger Institute, it is a very readable tale that includes experiences with family, co-workers, strangers, etc. to help understand how our self-betrayal (knowing what to do and not doing it, or “honoring” it), places individuals “in the box” where it is necessary for o
May 08, 2017 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan of business/management/leadership books, finding most of them filled with platitudes and banalities. That seems par for the course in the genre. "Leadership and Self-Deception" is part of that genre, but is able to transcend it, at least a bit. What distinguished this book is the self-deception aspect. The premise is that leaders especially but human being in general fail when they fail to view people as human beings and as ends in themselves rather than means to an end. This is so ...more
Apr 11, 2017 Gwen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: career
Good ideas, but far too long and tedious. Basic premise: treat people as people, not objects.

My recommendation: skip the book and just watch this surprisingly well-done video.
Jan 21, 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
Dec 18, 2015 Audrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay this is one of those books that everyone in the world needs to read. I'm not exaggerating. It hits principles that are foundational to every human being because all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. All of us are in a fallen state, constantly deceiving ourselves and others. This book rocked my world. Don't think that from my previous statements it's a "Christian" book - it's not, it's a book on basic human psychology, and particularly how we set ourselves and others up ...more
Sep 23, 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
Jan 31, 2008 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 23, 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
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
Alison Stegert
Nov 07, 2008 Alison Stegert 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Paradigm Shifting...: In the box 1 2 Jul 23, 2016 04:11AM  
Noteworthy: The B...: Thoughts On: Leadership and Self Deception 2 5 Jun 21, 2016 10:37PM  
Indian Business Leaders 1 9 Feb 04, 2013 02:13AM  
Accountability 1 8 Dec 21, 2012 11:37PM  
Life changing 2 79 May 01, 2011 01:23PM  
  • Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves
  • The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Management Fable About Helping Employees Find Fulfillment in Their Work
  • Influencer: The Power to Change Anything
  • Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work
  • I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better: Six Practical Principles that Empower Others to Solve Their Own Problems While Enriching Your Relationships
  • The Coming Aristocracy
  • The Holy Secret
  • The One Thing You Need to Know: ... About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success
  • Leadership Is an Art
  • The Leadership Challenge
  • Leadership Gold: Lessons I've Learned from a Lifetime of Leading
  • Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organizaion
  • On Becoming a Leader
  • Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
  • Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership
  • The 7 Habits for Managers: Managing Yourself, Leading Others, Unleashing Potential
  • Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times by Donald T. Phillips, Phillips
  • The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything
Arbinger was founded in 1979. Since then, Arbinger has worked with thousands of individuals and organizations and helped them to transform their effectiveness and performance.

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
More about The Arbinger Institute...

Share This Book

“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.” 2 likes
“Whenever we are in the box, we have a need that is met by others’ poor behavior. And so our boxes encourage more poor behavior in others, even if that behavior makes our lives more difficult.” 2 likes
More quotes…