Walk into any book shop, or browse online book shops and you’ll see just how many ‘self help’ books there are. Any issue you may be facing in life, I guarantee you’ll find a relating book.
I must confess that I’m a self help junkie. I love to read any type of self help, motivational or inspirational books. Gaining knowledge from others and seeing how they have overcome adversity spurs me on to achieve greatness in my own life. I’m also intrigued by Leadership Development books and I’ve discovered a brilliant gem that I have to share.
‘Leadership and Self Deception’ is a must read! The book is cleverly written as a fable about how you work to achieve your goals and what tools you use.
The authors say that self deception ‘determines one’s experience in every aspect of life’. Their concepts:
1. How you view and treat others as objects to help you accomplish your goals (also known as being ‘in the box’) OR
2. How you view others as people with their own hopes and dreams (also known as being ‘out of the box’).
The book focuses on how being ‘in the box’ affects almost every aspect of your life. ‘Self betrayal’ goes against your human nature of what is appropriate and how you should act towards others. This is the basis of the concept of ‘Self Deception’. When you are thought to be ‘self deceived’, you:
• Inflate others’ faults
• Inflate your own virtue
• Inflate the value of things that justify your own self betrayal
• Blame others for your short comings
When you are ‘in the box’ you see people who challenge your ideal image of yourself as threats and those who support you as allies.
Putting this theory into your workplace, if you’re constantly focussed on yourself and trying to achieve your own goals, you’re not really accomplishing what’s best for your organisation overall. Not really ‘model’ employee material right? Being ‘in the box’ often reflects: lack of commitment, conflict, stress, poor teamwork, and lack of trust, lack of accountability and communication issues.
So wouldn’t it be better if you were aware of this and remained ‘out of the box’?
To stay ‘out of the box’ you should:
• Do your best to help others succeed
• Do your best to help others achieve results
• Do the above two things both personally and professionally
The most successful leaders have the ‘out of the box’ concept in common. They are free of self-betrayal; create an environment of openness, trust and teamwork, where people can work hard for the good of the organisation, not for individual results.
So if you’re feeling a little like you’re working ‘in the box’, I highly recommend you read this brilliant book and discover how changing your thinking to stay ‘out of the box’ will help you achieve greater things in your life and your workplace.
Be enthusiastic, optimistic and energetic every day!