March 8, 2013
Leadership and Self-Deception
I have a problem. You have a problem. Almost everybody has a problem, and it is all the same problem. Even cultures as a whole suffer from this problem. We do not realize that we have a problem. We do, however, realize that everyone else has a problem, and this is the root of our problem. This problem creates most of our other problems. It causes resentment to grow, which deteriorates our relationships. It prevents us from completing our work because we’re not focused on results. It can change our work and home environments into a battlefield. We can change that, but we have to be aware of our problem. If we are not aware that we even have a problem in the first place, how are we going to be able to fix it? Self-Deception
Has instinct ever told you to do something, but you shot it down because you felt it was someone else’s responsibility? Perhaps you stumble across some knowledge that your colleague needs for a report. Your first instinct might have been to help them out and give them the information, but after a second thought, you realize that they do not deserve it. They do not work as hard as you. Besides, helping them out could lead to them ending up being promoted and you deserve that, because you work harder. Leadership and Self-Deception (The Arbinger Institute, 2010) uses a story of a baby crying to show an employee how the problem develops. Imagine its 3 am and your child starts crying from his room. You hear it and wake up, and your first instinct tells you to do something nice for your partner and let them sleep while you go attend to the child. Then you start to think about it, and decide, why should I? I am the one that was at work all day while my partner stays home and sits around not doing much. They do not work as hard as I do. Look at them, lying there, sleeping! Not even sensitive to their own child! What kind of parent are they? Not near as good as...