Not Your Father’s Book Report

I want to discuss a book that has played a heavy role in my development, both personally and professionally.

“Leadership & Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box” by The Arbinger Institute

In this read, the book dives deep into the different situational approaches and perceptions per all decisions. This book continuously challenges you to look from the outside, in on the situation. Upon reading, you will begin to truly consider all choices prior to responding/acting.

What is Self-Deception?

Self-deception, also known as “inside the box” is the disease. Self-deception is defined as: the action or practice of allowing oneslef to believe that a false or unvalidated feeling, idea or situation is true. Keep in mind, companies fail from the same things families do. You get out of the box when you cease resisting people. Let’s dive into what this means, starting with an example.

Powerful Example

You may or may not have kids, either way, let’s say you have a child with a husband/wife. During the night, the baby begins to cry. You wake up and notice your husband/wife is not getting up. Now, you have two ways to approach and view this:

1. You get up and go take care of the baby. During this time, you become frustrated and view your husband/wife as lazy and inconsiderate as you KNOW they heard the baby and chose not to move or acknowledge.


2. You get up and take care of the baby. During this time, you take the approach to realize your husband/wife will appreciate your help and will be thankful to have you as a partner.

Now check out the lasting impact of each.

Approach #1 or, “in the box” approach has now created additional conflict and stress within the relationship. This has also lessened the level of respect and appreciation you have for one another.

Approach #2 or, “outside the box” approach creates a much stronger relationship. Not only will your wife/husband appreciate you and feel thankful to have you, it also creates a level of self-fulfillment through knowing you are helping someone you care about.

Pretty crazy how a simple mind shift in viewing a situation can have such a large scale impact right..?! You can apply this to all facets of life; motivation problems, people problems, etc.

Strong Questions to Identify and Avoid Self-Deception, via Chapter 24:

  • How and whether you are really focused on results?
  • Are you open or closed to correction?
  • Actively seek to learn and enthusiastically teach when can?
  • Actively hold self fully accountable?
  • Take or shift responsibility when something goes wrong?
  • Move quickly to solutions or find perverse value in problems?
  • Earn trust from those around you?

Do’s and Don’t’s via Chapter 25:

When in the box, it is impossoible to focus on results, which leads to the Do’s and Don’t’s:

  • Don’t try to be perfect, do try to be better
  • 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 discover your are in the box, do keep trying
  • Don’t deny that you’ve been in the box when you have been, do apologize and keep marching forward to help others in the future
  • Don’t focus on what others are doing wrong, do focus on what you can do to help
  • Don’t worry whether others are helping you, do worry whether you are helping others

Your influence on success will depend on being outside of the box.

Feedback is encouraged

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