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Publisher's Summary

Most personal and organizational problems are the result of a little-known phenomenon called "self-deception". We deceive ourselves into thinking we're doing the right thing for the right reason, but people won't follow a leader whose motives are selfish. The tricky thing is, we don't know that our motivation is flawed.

Through an entertaining and highly instructive story, this audiobook explains what self-deception is, how people get trapped in it, how it undermines relationships and organizational achievement, and - most importantly - the surprising way to solve it. A new edition of a customer favorite!

©2010 Arbinger Properties, Inc. ; 2012 AudioGO

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Lots of repetition

I don't know how many time they repeat the same thing over and over again, but it's annoying. I kept waiting for them to get to the gold, and I was let down in the end. I also have taken many communications in business courses and read hundreds of self help books, so maybe that could be the cause for my opinion. Good news, if you're reading this, you want to better your life. If you skip to the end, you'll get the same info without wasting a bunch of time. Not as helpful as they claim to be. A book on communication skills would be more beneficial as a tool.

60 of 63 people found this review helpful

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struggled

32 chapters to simply say think of others as human beings and treat them the way you would like to be treated.

90 of 95 people found this review helpful

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Could have skipped this one...

I was excited to read this book although when I got started, it was really difficult to stay interested. Like others, I found it to be repetitive and drawn out. I am not a fan of the cheesy fictional story and how many hours it took to deliver a simple point.

41 of 43 people found this review helpful

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Exactly what I needed.

I have been stuck in the box with my wife and many of my employees at work for years. This has been my fault. I love what this book has taught me. I may hire the coach to hold me accountable so that I stay on this track.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 07-12-13

Like staring into a microscopic mirror.

I heard a speaker say "if you are pointing your finger at someone else, you need to realize that three fingers are pointed back at yourself." That might be the best way to describe this book. It constantly turns it back on the reader to seriously examine their own problems and areas of self deception.

This book was recommended to me from a speaker and author whose focus is leadership.

I think it is a great listen for all developing leaders (which is hopefully every leader).

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Should be a require read to every human



Great ideas. The only small problem is that the conversations in the book are a little repetitive, but it also helped memory and retention.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Visalia, CA, United States
  • 07-10-17

Mixed Feelings On This One

Would you listen to Leadership & Self-Deception again? Why?

Actually I have it slated to listen to again. The reason is that I don't think I got everything I needed to out of it. It has some great content in it, but for me it was hard to stay engaged. It seems to me that they wrote this after the style of The Richest Man in Babylon, but is not as compelling.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 02-11-18

1st principle is that you must not fool yourself..

"My self-justifying image about being learned can be the very thing that sometimes keeps me from learning."
- The Arbinger Institute, Leadership and Self-Deception

Like most series, I tend to read them backwards. I've known about these Arbinger books for years, but only recently read them. Last year I read Anatomy of Peace and figured it made sense to close the circle on the "box" and read the book that started the whole Arbinger/Self-Deception/Leadership thing.

A quick background (I talk about this a bit in my Anatomy of Peace review): I know C. Terry Warner's family. I actually went to a private, prep school in Provo, Utah with both C. Terry Warner's kids and Steven R. Covey's kids (all we needed was Clayton Christensen's kids and we would have had a full set). The school was amazing. I didn't realize at the time that I was learning French and pre-Calc among the progeny of Leadership Gurus.

First, let me back up. You might never even recognize C. Terry Warner's name while reading this book. He isn't mentioned anywhere in the book directly. It has, however, his philosophical fingerprints all over it. The book isn't written by one person, but rather by an organization (Arbinger Institute) that was founded by Dr. Warner. It builds on C. Terry Warner's ideas of self-deception, human emotions, and organizational performance.

C. Terry Warner is a PhD in philosophy and taught for years at BYU so it is natural that the foundations of a lot of Arbinger (a company he founded) is centered around philosophy, theology, and psychology. This book focuses on self-deception, and how treating people as objects and not people, and self-betrayal (not acting on our impulse to help others), hurts families, organizations, and individuals. I think the ideas in this book are sound. I wasn't, however, a fan of the terms "in the box" or "out of the box". I understand why they used it (simplicity, visually instructive, intuitive), but it also seemed a bit too simplistic (maybe that is what today's business demand?) and confusing (for years people have used the cliche "thinking outside the box" which is a completely different idea).

Anyway, I generally hate self-help and corporate leadership books. I do, however, have a soft spot for the Arbinger books, and do find them to be a bit more useful than most. Part of the reason I liked, yet am still also a bit conflicted about it, fits into a term coined by my friend Nathaniel. He called Arbinger and Covey books a sub-genre of "covertly religious business books". Some of the stories were familiar to me locally. Some concepts seemed, like Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, to repackage theological and ethical arguments I am very familiar with. Again, some of that may come from where I grew up, and the kids I was hanging with.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Shut up and listen already

If you could sum up Leadership & Self-Deception in three words, what would they be?

Quit killing relationships

What did you like best about this story?

Helped me see how lucky I am up to this point in my life to have any relationships at all!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

There are no new skills taught here, just an eye opening experience of seeing people for their Human qualities and not their performance of associated rolls in life. Very, very good for not just leaders of organizations but anyone who interacts with others...ever!

21 of 26 people found this review helpful

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New Perspective!

I highly recommend this book. I also highly recommend reading it again and again. You will feel humility and an improved sense of being able to empathize and sympathize with others, especially in times of conflict.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Huw Bowles
  • 05-13-15

An excellent book given a second life on Audible

I've read this book and recommended it to a number of others. The Audible format gives it a new lease of life and I will be recommending it again.
I don't often give 5 stars which for me should be reserved for things you rave about and recommend unprompted.
Up there with 7 Habits in my book ;)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Abdul
  • 04-13-16

A Life Changing Masterpiece

This book got me out of my box. It made me rethink my relationships with many important people in my life.

The narrator delivers the message in a warm and comforting tone, kind of like a caring father or grandfather.

A must read for anyone!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anthony
  • 02-03-15

Great format

The structure of a story helped keep you engaged on the points it's kept repeating. Would recommend to help change the way your deal with people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lina Brooks
  • 01-22-16

Waste of time

What disappointed you about Leadership & Self-Deception?

patronizing, idiotic story... just down right waste of time ... I most definitely would not recommend.... and to put the salt on to the wound.... at the end the toot their horn how good the book is and how many lives it changed... forget about competence and being humble, won't find it here

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • A. L. Howell
  • 01-15-15

My first Audible disappointment

What did you like best about Leadership & Self-Deception? What did you like least?

I've recently got the bug for the fable style of business book having read or listened to all of Patrick Lencioni's books but in the case of Leadership and Self-Deception (The Arbinger Institute NOT Patrick Lencioni) there just isn't enough content to make a story from. The basic concept is sound but the authors have turned it into a Hollywood style tale of "everything will be wonderful in the end" and this book will solve all the world's problems courtesy of Tom (the world's slowest learner) and Bud (fortunately for Tom, the world's slowest teacher). They also dedicate the last 30 minutes or so telling you how fabulous the book is and how widely it's used, how many companies it's saved, how many marriages it's saved , and how aspiring CEOs would be foolish to contemplate not reading it before taking up their appointment. I found this especially irritating! The basic concept would make for a thought provoking essay but I don't see it as ground breaking or life changing; Empathy has been around for a long while!

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Relief!

Would you listen to another book narrated by Peter Berkrot?

Not in a hurry. His characters all seemed to be "Bud".

Could you see Leadership & Self-Deception being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

No, not really relevant for this sort of book.

Any additional comments?

I don't think so - sorry, this book just didn't do it for me.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Jenö
  • 02-07-18

Important message and vision, a bit repetitively

I find the message important, the format ok, but the repetitiveness was sometimes tiring, and marketing overwhelming. I recommend it to everyone nevertheless.

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  • uchenna aja-onu
  • 02-03-18

Excellent Read. A useful tool for problem solving

Excellent Read. A useful tool for problem solving. I plan to share this with my spouse

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-21-17

Enlightening

I now get the “outside the box” reference. There is a lot to glean from this book.

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  • Eemeli Kantola
  • 12-08-17

Great and useful simplication of a difficult topic

Handling the topic of self-deception and how to live with it in a concrete story format was much better memorizable than a more theoretical approach. Even though I can't claim I learned that much new on a fundamental level, I still think many things "clicked" by listening to this one. Not the least because of the book being influential on an emotional level when explaining the concepts through the story.

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  • PeterJHills
  • 08-24-14

I don't normally review books but this one's great

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes - directly applicable to your whole life

What did you like best about this story?

Easy to absorb the information

Have you listened to any of Peter Berkrot’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It probably helps to listen to it in a few sessions.

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  • Graham
  • 11-15-16

Relationship basics

Really enjoyed the narrative, and look forward to application of the material. Recommend this to anyone wanting to relate better with other people.

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  • Catherine
  • 11-11-16

One of the best reads about mindset

I really loved the narrator. It flowed well enough for me to stay focused. The book os divided into parts and found this helpful the second time round as there were sections I needed to go over.

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  • Michelle
  • 04-28-14

Self deception explained... really interesting

Would you listen to Leadership & Self-Deception again? Why?

Yes because there is so much information I would like to write stuff down while I am listening

What about Peter Berkrot’s performance did you like?

Yes it was fine

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

More like aha moments