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It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


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Weekend Reading
(July 30, 2004) -
Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out Of The Box

The Arbinger Institute
Berrett-Kohler Publishers, Inc.
ISBN 1-57675-174-0

At the heart of this gem is the simple notion that people respond to the way that we feel about them. No more, no less. Without a hint of preaching, the authors pack a wallop by focusing on the delivery of this simple key to organizational effectiveness in a readable (an hour or so) 180-page story. While the idea itself hardly solves all business problems, it is a foundation for success in any organization built out of people.

"...most people when they start a job have the same feelings that you did. They are grateful for the employment and the opportunity. They want to do their best for the company and the people in it."

"But interview those same people a year later," he continued, "and their feelings are usually very different. Their feelings toward many of their co-workers frequently resemble the feelings Bud had toward Nancy in the story that he told. And you'll often find that people who were formerly committed engaged, motivated, looking forward to working as a team, and so on, now have problems in those areas. And, who do you think they think caused those problems?"

"Everyone else in the company," I answered. "The boss, coworkers, the people who report to them, even the company for that matter"

"Yes, but now we know better," he said. "When we blame, we blame because of ourselves, not because of others."

As we begin to permanently shoulder the burden of demographic-driven shortages, the differences between workplaces will become profound recruiting advantages or disadvantages. Simple things like good manners, interpersonal respect, concern, and compassion will take on heightened meaning in the workplaces we manage (or send our people into). Competitive advantage will be increasingly won by teams that feel like teams.

We're hardly suggesting that Theory Y management (all soft and cuddly) is the appropriate business response. Surely hard truths, innovation, and rigorous discipline are also at the core of profitability and growth. The truth is, however, that aggressive success is simply easier (and more likely) in environments that are trying to eliminate blame as a cultural characteristic.

Perhaps this sounds as mushy as the typical pronouncements from an HR Department. While we believe that Leadership and Self-Deception will point you towards a more successful future, you be the judge. Give it a quick read. Try a couple of little experiments. See for yourself.

We think you will be tempted to ship copies of Leadership and Self-Deception throughout your organization. The first step in being a company that values its human capital is treating the people like people.

John Sumser

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Copyright © 2013 interbiznet. All rights reserved.
Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

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         © TwoColorHat.
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