Leadership and Self-Deception

I really enjoyed this book because it is not only something that I can apply at work but also in my daily life.  Leadership is not always about what you do. Leadership is about who you are and how you do what you do. The strategies and techniques are less important than the person you as a leader bring to the task of leadership.  Reflecting back on my leadership experience, I can remember moments where I was in the box. As a leader, I know there have been times where I was frustrated in certain situations and it was easier to point fingers and blame others. Instead of trying to look for the problem, the book talks about viewing the struggles we face as an opportunity to observe our lives and how we live everyday. Failure in leadership is a result of self-deception. If we genuinely feel respect for people they will more open to me as a person.

The book spoke volumes to me when self-deception was discussed. We are all human so this idea of self-deception is just natural. As I was reading this book I was trying to identify a time when I was in the box. I realized that I did inflate the other person faults as well as inflate my own virtue. This led me to inflate the value of things that justify my self-betrayal and then blaming the other person. It is so easy to be in the moment and focus on yourself. We can easily justify why we didn’t pick up the trash because that is someone’s job to do that. In that moment, we are viewing that person merely as an object and not as a person. To get out of the box, we should do our best to help others achieve and be successful. In the book they write, “We can’t really achieve results like we otherwise could if we’re in the box. The question is how often we are “in the box” and how can we work to live “outside of the box”?

Each book that we read and reflect on is also discussed during our book club so that we can understand the take away from each other. I found myself pointing out “so that person would be in the box!” when in reality I was in the box based off of merely just that comment. As mentioned, we are all human and it is natural to have a biased view of problems but the challenge is working towards being outside of the box and remembering to view people as people and not as objects.

Peace and Love,

Kayli Marie