This book by Arbinger Institute is one of the small , actionable and concise book about leadership.

I conducted a leadership program in my earlier avatar and I gave this book to everyone of the participants.

This book has a powerful narrative in the form of individual storytelling and I could easily identify with many aspects of the story telling.

Though this book talks about organizational context, I think it gives a deep insight into your own short comings as a leader and especially how we trap ourselves into the box of self-deception in our roles as leaders in both professional and personal context.

The institute provides a clear framework for getting out of the box

The institute also has this video which serves as a useful pre-cursor to the book.

A useful framework summarized from the book for getting out of the box of self-deception is illustrated below

Do Don’t
Try to be better


Try to be perfect


Look within


Look for other’s boxes


Stay out of the box


Accuse others of being in the box


Keep trying


Give up on yourself


Apologize and Move on




Focus on what you can do right to help


Focus on what others are doing wrong
Worry whether you are helping others


Worry others are helping you



Irrespective of your leadership experience, this book serves as a useful guide to check periodically if you are exhibiting ‘in the box’ behaviour or ‘out of the box’ behaviour.

Keep this as a reference book and go back to it, irrespective of your current leadership strengths.

Enjoy Maadi. (Have Fun)


PS : This book revealed to me a very important deceptive behaviour in my personal life and someday I shall write about that in detail.