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Mar 18

The Arbinger Institute published the [audio] book that deals with self-deception and how it affects leadership.

The premise is that leaders commit self-betrayal to justify their means and therefore manage people. They call this betrayal as “inside the box.” A leader (or a person) is inside the box when they are concerned about their own situation. In the context of a manager/employee, the inside the box manager will ride the employee to get the project done on time because its what they promised the client. An out of box manager would approach the situation from the employees perspective. The manager will focus on why the employee would want to get the job done, not why the manager wants the job done.

The key then is to be out-of-the-box and consider others before one’s own selfish needs.

In short, the book summed up the following principals:

-People Skills
-Putting Others Before Yourself
-Servant Leadership
-Proactive vs. Reactive Management

Many of the examples showed how we rationalize others behavior (self-betrayal) to justify our actions. When you separate their behavior and ask yourself “what’s the right thing to do?”, you find your reaction is contrary to the right thing. For instance, if an employee keeps coming to work late, your reaction might be to not assign them tough work. Instead, if you sit down with the employee and find out they are getting in late to work is because they are working late every night on key projects, you soon realize this is a go-to person.

The book is told completely from a story context with Bud, Lou and Tom as the main characters. It is well done and worth the read. Audiobook was purchased from

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