Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Book Review- Leadership and Self-Deception

This book was recommended to me by Saleha Khan, who's an instructor with the Ontario Police College. And my friends gifted it to me before I left Toronto.

The title of the book for many months was on the back of my head- What has leadership to do with self-deception? And it's something I could have never guessed.

The style of the book is very simple, and the story goes very slow, so you're forced either to (1) think, or to (2) read really fast. I did a bit of both.

The entire book is trying to explain just the concept of self-deception; and if you can get it right, then you're set to be a leader. The book tells you to how to see people as people, and not as objects, so that you do not justify their attitude towards you as an excuse to cover up for your own shortcomings.

I really like the way they have put examples from all the realms of life- personal, family and work- to demonstrate the same concept. Also, the way the book starts off is very intuitive- Tom walks into his manager Bud's office not knowing what he's going to expect, except that some of his colleagues told him it's something wonderful about a discovery that solves people's problems, how no one really focusses on results, and so on. That's exactly how my thoughts were. What is this really all about?

However, because this book is only focussed on one thing- Self-deception- it idealises the concept too much and makes it simple to achieve. The reality in life is far from it. It doesnt talk about dealing with dishonest people, low performers etc.

Nevertheless, I would definitely want to get my hands on the other books by the Arbinger Institute.

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