Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Review: Leadership and Self Deception

     This book was a much better read than I expected.  It is a novel, the whole book is a fictional story to illustrate the themes and main points of the book.  It does a great job of teaching and explaining while at the same time entertaining you and stating what you may be thinking at different moments.  This book is great because it doesn't teach leadership techniques.  I t doesn't teach communication skills or behaviors that will improve effectiveness and productivity.  It teaches you not what to do, but how to be.  

     I'm fairly certain this book was not intended to have any religious significance, but as I read it I couldn't help but think that I had heard all of this before - at church.  The Phrase - "Love one Another" - could easily be the title of this book, as could "Listen to the Spirit."

Here are a few quotes from the book that made me think I was in Sunday School:

#1: “Some people…inspire devotion and commitment in others, even when they’re interpersonally clumsy.
 - This made me think of Moses 

#2: “This isn’t about perfection.  Far from it. It’s simply about getting better.”
#3:  "When we're out of the box and seeing others as people we have a very basic sense about others – namely that, like ourselves, they have hopes needs cares and fears.  And on occasion, as a result of this sense we have impressions of things to do for others - things we think might help them."
 - I thought this was a perfect description of promptings from the Holy Ghost. 
#4: “I don’t remember trying to change myself.  Somehow, I just ended up changed – almost like something changed me.”
 -  Doesn't this sound like people who have had God's grace granted to them, in forgiveness, in the Holy Ghost, or other ways - something changes you.
#5: “There are times when we have special impressions of additional things we should do for others.”
The first two lessons I learned from the book were:
Lesson #1: I am the Problem
Lesson#2: The fact that other people have problems does not justify or excuse my own.

Here is a list of my other favorite quotes and ideas from the book: (there were a lot)

“If I’m not interested in knowing a person’s name, I’m probably not really interested in the person as a person.  For me, it’s a basic litmus test.”

 “However bitterly I complain about someone’s poor behavior toward me and about the trouble it causes me, I also find it strangely delicious.  It’s my proof that others are as blameworthy as I’ve claimed them to be.”

 “Helpful skills and techniques aren’t very helpful if they’re done in the box.  They just provide people with more-sophisticated ways to blame.”

 “When you’re in the box, people follow you, if at all, only through force or threat of force.  But that’s not leadership.  That’s coercion.”