Monday, October 24, 2011

A Brief Note about Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by the Arbinger Institute from Don Caulley

Most leadership books focus on techniques to manipulate others.  This book takes a decidedly different approach.  Leadership and Self-Deception (LASD) seeks to help the reader understand the barriers that exist in relationships.  In fact, it is much more about understanding relational experiences than it is strictly about leadership.

The basic supposition is that each of us creates a “box” which is a result of a moment of self-deception.  The box is built by our keen ability to rationalize our own behavior and blame others for our missteps.  This creates an environment where we begin to see other people as merely objects that either help us on our way to success or that we steam roll on our way.  This box creates a defensive posture any time someone would suggest we made a mistake.  This book will hold a mirror up to your actions and refuse to let you make excuses.

While this book is not written from a spiritual perspective, there are many Christian applications.  First, this book recognizes the inherent humanity in all people, regardless of their actions or attitudes.  Second, this book does not allow you to blame others for your actions.  You are ultimately responsible for you behavior.  Third, this book finds value in a true apology.  Christians are not perfect, we fail when we refuse to recognize that we are fallible (I recognize the irony of that statement).  Lastly, the book helps us see how we can hold people accountable in a proper way.

Jesus very tersely described the essentials of our faith as “Loving God, and loving others.”  Neither of these involves selfish behaviors.  This book helps reveal the ways in which we become selfish.  It is written as a long parable and it is well told.  I hope you will read it and learn some of the principles discussed.


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