Nothing Personal — It’s Just Business

Thanks for giving me a few minutes to share a couple of thoughts about leadership and taking care of business. I found an interesting book that has some ideas worth consideration.

In Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, produced by the Arbinger Institute and published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers in 2002, I discovered what I think is an important truth for everyone but especially for leaders. It starts with a simple but rather strange proposition.

Self-deception determines my experience in every aspect of life.

There you go. Let me share it again. I don’t know for sure about you but I personally find the assertion very strange.

Self-deception determines my experience in every aspect of life.

Okay, I’ll move on. The arguement works like this.

1. An act contrary to what I feel I should do for another is 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 a self-justifying world, my view of reality becomes distorted.

4. When I betray myself, I enter the box.

5. Over time, certain boxes become characteristic of me, and I carry them with me.

6. By being in the box, I provoke others to be in the box with me.

7. In the box, we invite mutual mistreatment and obtain mutual justification. We collude in giving each other reason to stay in the box.