Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger InstituteLeadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

byThe Arbinger Institute

Paperback | October 16, 2009

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Since its original publication in 2000, Leadership and Self-Deception has become a word-of-mouth phenomenon. Its sales continue to increase year after year, and the book’s popularity has gone global, with editions now available in over twenty languages.

Through a story everyone can relate to about a man facing challenges on the job and in his family, the authors expose the fascinating ways that we can blind ourselves to our true motivations and unwittingly sabotage the effectiveness of our own efforts to achieve success and increase happiness.

This new edition has been revised throughout to make the story even more 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 to improve their lives and workplaces—areas such as team building, conflict resolution, and personal growth and development, to name a few.

Read this extraordinary book and discover what millions already have learned—how to consistently tap into an innate ability that dramatically improves both your results and your relationships.
The Arbinger Institute helps organizations, families, individuals, and communities worldwide to correct the trouble created by the little-known but pervasive problem of self-deception. Arbinger is led internationally by founding partners James Ferrell, Duane Boyce, Paul Smith, and Terry Warner. Headquartered in the United States, Arbin...
Title:Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the BoxFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.58 inShipping dimensions:8.5 × 5.5 × 0.58 inPublished:October 16, 2009Publisher:Berrett-koehlerLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1576759776

ISBN - 13:9781576759776


Read from the Book

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.”

Table of Contents

Part I Self-Deception and the “Box”
1 Bud
2 A Problem
3 Self-Deception
4 The Problem beneath Other Problems
5 Beneath Effective Leadership
6 The Deep Choice That Determines Influence
7 People or Objects
8 Doubt

Part II How We Get in the Box
9 Kate
10 Questions
11 Self-Betrayal
12 Characteristics of Self-Betrayal
13 Life in the Box
14 Collusion
15 Box Focus
16 Box Problems

Part III How We Get Out of the Box
17 Lou
18 Leadership in the Box
19 Toward Being Out of the Box
20 Dead Ends
21 The Way Out
22 Leadership Out of the Box
23 Birth of a Leader
24 Another Chance
Share Your Story
Excerpt from The Anatomy of Peace

Editorial Reviews

“Extraordinary . . . Five Stars.” —Business Ethics “This is the most profound and practical business book I have ever read! Everyone I have recommended this book to has been challenged intellectually and also touched emotionally. It is a must-read that I will give to my kids to read before they begin their careers.” —Tom A. DiDonato, Vice President, Human Resources, American Eagle Outfitters “I love this book. It identifies the central issue in all organizational performance. Like truth itself, this book reveals more with each re-examination. I highly recommend it.” —Doug Hauth, Business Development Manager, Convio, Inc. “Imagine working in an organization where the aim of your colleagues is to help you achieve your results. I could not believe it possible. After reading this book I just had to bring Arbinger to the UK to teach our people. What an experience! We are all better people for it. This book touches the very foundation of culture, teamwork, and performance.” —Mark Ashworth, President and CEO, Butcher’s Pet Care, UK “It’s rare to find a business book that is good enough to recommend to your boss, your work team, and your friends. The concepts in this book have transformed both the way I work and the way I live.” —Robert W. Edwards, Managing Director, Sales, FedEx “After decades of executive leadership in senior management positions, I’ve finally found in Arbinger what I consider to be the best means of improving every measure of success. From boosting the bottom line to increasing personal joy, this book shows the way.” —Bruce L. Christensen, former President and CEO, PBS “This astonishing book is a MUST-read for every executive or personal and professional coach.” —Laura Whitworth, coauthor of Co-Active Coaching, and cofounder, The Coaches Training Institute “The concepts in this book are powerful. They are fundamental to success whether on the playing field, in the office, or perhaps most importantly, at home. Read this book and you’ll see what I mean.” —Steve Young, two-time NFL Most Valuable Player “Rarely has a book had such an immediate and profound impact on the hundreds of CEOs of fast growth firms we work with through our MIT/Inc./EO Executive Program. And it’s one of those rare books that touches both the personal as well as professional lives of these leaders.” —Verne Harnish, cofounder, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and CEO, Gazelles, Inc. “Leadership and Self-Deception is a touchstone for authentic leadership. Arbinger’s innovative exploration of what lies beneath behavior uplifts, enlightens, and transforms. We’ve wholeheartedly adopted Leadership and Self-Deception as the foundational material for our administrator development program.” —Troy S. Buer, Educational Program Director, University of Virginia School of Medicine “This is probably the most outstanding book that directs us to soul searching and introspection. It teaches us to take accountability for our lives and our destinies in a down-to-earth and bluntly practical manner. The lessons in this book have helped me personally, as well as other people I love.” —Kalyan Banerjee, cofounder and Senior Vice President, MindTree “The principles of Leadership and Self Deception provide the groundwork for our success as individuals and organizations. I recommend it highly to my fellow board members, to global networks, corporate clients, entrepreneurs, and individuals alike. “ —Heidi Forbes Öste, CEO and Founder, 2BalanceU and Public Relations, Europe Region, Business and Professional Women International “Because it distills important leadership, spiritual, and life principles into one profound and impossible-to-put-down-book, Leadership and Self Deception is a treasure. MBA students in my classes share my enthusiasm for this rare book. You will surely return to this book again and again; and each time you do, it will be as penetrating a learning experience as the first time.” —Barry Brownstein, CSX Chair in Leadership, University of Baltimore “The leadership principles in this book have had a greater impact on the quality of leadership in our company than anything we have ever implemented. They have been extraordinarily important in helping make our company a great place to work while at the same time helping us focus on results and increase productivity as never before.” —Michael Stapley, President and CEO, DMBA “While reading, I reviewed my life, and, sure enough, what successes there were in it were based on Arbinger’s principles. This book is a tool that could transform and elevate the way government functions!” —Mark W. Cannon, former Administrative Assistant to the Chief Justice of the United States and Staff Director, Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution “Simple . . . clear . . . powerful. With many years of experience in leadership, organizational development, and training I was surprised to find something strike me with such impact.” —Janet Steinwedel, President, Leaders Insight “As a therapist I was pleasantly surprised to find that a book geared toward managers could have such far-reaching implications in my life and the lives of my clients. I believe the ideas in this book could transform the counseling profession. It is now required reading for all my clients.” —Jason Beard, family therapist “Are you relating to the world anxiously or angrily, not comprehending why you hold judgmental attitudes, feel uncontrollable fear, or unleash explosions of temper against your colleagues without being able to explain why? Do you feel hopeless and unable to change? Learn the practical tools provided in this fascinating book and eliminate this problem at its source right now!” —Marcos Cajina Heinzkill, Certified Coach and Facilitator, founder and President, Renewal, Spain “Remarkable. Arbinger possesses the hidden key to productivity and creativity. Do whatever you can to get your hands on this material.” —Dave Browne, former President and CEO, LensCrafters “This book is a rare gem that is treasured by all who have read it. The organization for which I work has passed this book to so many people, and it is amazing to watch peoples’ attitudes and behaviors towards each other changing. Each day everyone gives a little more, making us better leaders but more importantly better people.” —Nuala Murphy, Senior Vice President, Global Financial Services Company “Leadership and Self-Deception holds up a brutally honest mirror to behavior in which we all indulge to justify our shortcomings. The result is not self-remorse or punishment but a glimpse of a life to be lived with integrity and freed of the boundaries and constraints we inflict upon ourselves and others. I am always excited to watch Arbinger’s thinking help my clients to unlock painful family disputes and lead them to resolution.” —Neil Denny, family lawyer, Wiltshire, UK “A remarkable book. It can be valuable to your understanding of why so many people create their own problems, are unable and/or unwilling to see that they are creating their own problems, and then resist any attempts by others to help them stop creating those problems.” —Robert Morris, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer “I’ve been in the book publishing business for twenty five years. Rarely have I read a book as profound and life-changing as Leadership and Self-Deception.” —David Sanford, Literary Agent, Credo Communications “This book was recommended to me at an annual strategic planning session. I was stunned by the truth of it and the simple solution. Our entire management has now read it. It has been a building block for our personal and organizational development.” —Rick Chalk, CEO, Cal-tex Protective Coatings “My business partners and I built a health-care company on the ideas in this book. We are amazed at what it has helped us achieve. Careful reading and rereading of this book has proven better than any productivity, team-building, or leadership training we’ve encountered.” —Mark Ballif, CEO, Plum Healthcare “An important book that has the potential to change the way you think, behave, and live your life, both personally and professionally.” —Rolf Dobelli, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer “Our Executive Committee read Leadership and Self-Deception nearly two years ago. Since then every member of our staff has read it. The Arbinger approach adds tremendous value as we grow the company and integrate companies we acquire along the way.” —Robin Hamill, Chairman, Igility Group