Saturday, July 08, 2017

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

Your view of yourself tends to be a lot more positive than your view of others. It is easy to gloss over your deficiencies, while observing those in others. People can also tell when you don't have their best interests in mind - even if you try to say otherwise. If you are "In the box", you are thinking about others as objects. You often justify your behavior, while villainizing others. They are just object to serve you and they can sense that. Instead, you need to remember that they are people that have real feelings also. This doesn't mean you have to be "easy" on them. There are still difficult decisions that require hard actions. However, by treating people as people, you can often reduce the conflict and produce better outcomes.
This book breaks from the common "self-help" approach and is instead presented as a simple dialog at a fictitious company. A relatively new employee spend a day with upper management to learn some of these skills. In process he realizes that some of the people he admired really were thinking of him "out of the box", while his behaviors towards others were causing him to appear as the "bad bosses" that he had encountered previously in his career. He tries to make peace with some of the people he has negatively impacted. At first, he has spotty success. He gradually learns how to fully get "out of the box" and improves relationships at work at home. He also realizes that there is no prescription to follow to get out of the box. You must just do it.

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