Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thinking Outside The Box - Again?!

With over 300 management and leadership titles fighting their way onto the shelves every year, I probably never would've read, much less picked up, a title with such a tired cliche.  

Yet, there it found me...  like a rescue puppy just waiting to be saved from banishment to the discount bin. Or so I, a devote of management giants Bennis, Welch, and Sutton, arrogantly assumed.

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of The Box, by The Arbinger Institute, however, is no stray, I soon would discover.  Having sold close to one million copies since it's first printing almost a decade ago, this quick read rivals most selections from the leadership orbits we're normally pulled into. Derided by more than one reviewer as simplistic prose, I found this little book with the outdated title building foundations for both individual and organizational success, like no other I'd read.

Exactly because the concept isn't new - yet the delivery is - its beauty is wholly revealed. As if watching a sunrise atop Mount Haleakala for the very first time... there it rises, brilliantly, with no room for debate on the physics of light... yet only the warm glow of its ancient, primal energy. And there within holds a glow for domestic staff.

However you define leadership: whether that of serving a a nation or a corporation, a state or an estate, a team or a family, or - most importantly - your own accountable journey through life, Leadership and Self-Deception steadily unfolds the mystery to how the best laid plans for interpersonal communication are routinely sidetracked, discounted, and ultimately destroyed, resulting in the innumerable industries, consultants, and weekend seminars given birth to repair (and cash in on) the endless destruction... on your estate... created by the one person you would never guess.

Far from a panacea, Leadership and Self-Deception never suggests to be the final book you'll ever read, or thought you'll ever think.  Far from it, building this foundation will inspire you to continue studying for a lifetime... if you dare...