I’ll be honest, I’m not a big reader. You won’t find me curled up on the couch with a book unless it’s something I have to read or am really interested in reading.
A few years ago my boss (at the time) asked our team to read one special book on our own time and then get together as a team to discuss it. I went into it with an open mind but I was also a little bothered because reading is not my idea of a fun time.
Looking back, I am forever grateful for being given the opportunity to read this book. It completely changed my life. And it can change yours too.
There are a lot of books out there with very specific concentrations like business/career or self-help but not many books can successfully combine the two topics. This book definitely combines the two topics in a refreshing way. That made me happy when I read the book because I felt like it improved my work life and my personal life all in one shot.
Without further ado the name of the book is Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute. It is also available in Audio format if you dislike reading as much as I do.
There is one paragraph on the back of of the book that gives the perfect summary:
“Through a story everyone can relate to about a man facing challenges on the job and in his family, the authors expose the fascinating ways that we can blind ourselves to our true motivations and unwittingly sabotage the effectiveness of our own efforts to achieve success and increase happiness.”
This summary is spot on. The book really opened my eyes to how unproductive negative thoughts are. We may not even know we’re doing it but we all do. These negative thoughts lead to negative actions. We may think these thoughts and actions are helping us get what we want but they actually do the opposite. On top of that, they make us really unhappy and are a complete waste of time & energy!
If you’re looking for a book (or audio) that will help you grow in your career and be a better person at home, I definitely recommend this book.
Be Better At Home
My husband and I each read the book on our own time and then discussed it together. It really helped us get on the same page and grow our relationship in a positive way.
As an example, let’s say my husband came home late one day.
My perspective: I may feel like he’s an irresponsible or disrespectful person and I may lash out at him by getting on his case when he arrives home.
His perspective: He may feel like I’m being irrational and uncaring. After all, maybe he got into an accident or something bad happened on the way home.
Result: A big fight.
Has this situation or something similar every happened to you?
The book goes into detail about how self-deception in each of our minds can trigger this negative situation. A situation like this is so common yet so avoidable. The book shows you how to think better thoughts that lead to better actions & outcomes.
Be Better At Work
The book had the same effect at work. When I initially read the book, it was a few years ago. The amazing team that I was working with at the time really bonded over this book. It helped us to work together and feel less stressed & competitive.
As an example, let’s say you (Amanda) and your colleague (Ryan) were working on a presentation together. You both put in equal hours on getting the presentation just right and it was a big hit.
Amanda: Afterwards, your boss pulled you aside alone and asked you how you thought it went. You casually said something like, “The presentation was a huge success. I’m surprised it went as smooth as it did since it was a little difficult to get together with Ryan to put it together. He just didn’t seem that interested.”
Ryan: The boss also pulled him aside alone and asked him how he thought it went. Ryan casually said, “A huge success. It was a pleasure working with Amanda on it. She did a great job and I hope we get to work together again in the future. We were a true team and we closed the deal!”
Whoa! Ever been in this situation or one like it?
Amanda is clearly being taken over by self-deception. She may think that what she’s saying to her boss is making her look like a leader when in reality she is just lying. It makes her sound like she’s not a team player and she’s difficult to work with. It also leaves the impression that she’s a negative person.
Who wants to work with someone like that?!
Ryan, on the other hand, appears to be a true team player. He is positive and professional, never speaking a negative word about Amanda.
If Amanda and Ryan were both up for promotion, I’d say Ryan probably would get it.
The book Leadership and Self-Deception discusses everyday situations like this and how we can react more positively which can lead to better outcomes. In this situation, it would be for Amanda to be more of a team player and not talk bad about her colleague behind his back. Maybe that would also give her a better chance of getting the promotion too.
Try It For Yourself
See if this book has the same positive impact on you. Get a copy of the book on the website for The Arbinger Institute or you can find it at most online retailers. Amazon is one online retailer that has the book available on Kindle, paperback format, and audio format. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
*Note: I am not being paid at all for this review.