Tony Dye

Tony Dye

MAKING IT EASIER TO DO
THE RIGHT THINGS

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LaSD, How to Use

Appendix. How to Use Leadership and Self-Deception

Page 189

Five key areas: 1) Hiring, 2) team-building, 3) conflict resolution, 4) accountability and responsibility, 5) personal growth and development. I’m trying to think what it would be like to work for an organization where these concepts were built into the core culture. I can’t think of any organization I know, or have heard of, that would fit this. Know any? What about … Dave Ramsey the Grove Park Inn (Asheville) or the Gaylord organization (Opryland hotel).

Wouldn’t you like to get a behind the scenes tour at the Arbinger Institute? (headquarters in Utah of all places! https://arbinger.com/   https://www.linkedin.com/company/arbinger-institute)

Special note to myself from the end of the Leadership and Team building section. “Here is a book that will help you to see how to deal with me when I’m really being a jerk.” There’s perhaps a good way to ask someone else to focus on me! Me, the jerk.

Liked the story of the angry man who read the book twice. I identify with that one, perhaps a bit too much. Wish I’d had this book, and motivation to read it, ~30 years ago!

Summary: My extremely short summary: it’s all about relationships. People, not objects. Easy to say; not always easy to do.

LaSD, Mindset Change

Appendix. From Way-of-Being to Mindset Change

Page 187 & 188

Leadership and Self-Deception introduced to the terms “in the box” and “out of the box.” Philosophers have called these two ideas “ways of being,” [Not stated here, but this terms is used a good bit in Anatomy of Peace.

In the 20-plus-years since LaSD was published, Arbinger has switched to the term “mindset change” rather than “way of being change.” Mindset change feels inherently more changeable.

Intriguing [to me], the terms “in the box” and “out of the box” have entered the public lexicon.

Across the Arbinger books, you can translate:

“in the box” to “inward mindset”

“out of the box” to “outward mindset”

Final line of the section:

“Our mission is to turn the world outward — one person, team, and organization at a time.”

LaSD, The Arbinger Mindset Assessment

Appendix. How to Measure the Self-Deception Gap with the Arbinger Mindset Assessment

Bottom of page 185 on to page 186

The introduction to the assessment tool.

TD> Since the URL is not listed, I suspect it may change from time to time, but for the moment, it’s here: https://arbinger.com/assessments/

Even though this is an individual assessment tool, it helps to think of an organization when you take it. If you work more than one place, probably worth taking more than once.

LaSD, Research about Self-Deception in Organizations

Appendix. Research about Self-Deception in Organizations

The book “suddenly” ended, without us ever knowing Tom’s future, or anyone else’s for that matter. Bud left Tom with the assignment to rethink his view of Chuck Staehli. I wish we had the end of that story. Oh well.

Page 181

We were told at the beginning of the book that it was fiction, but based on real experience. Now we learn a bit of the reality, Lou Herbert was somewhat modeled after Jack Hauck of Tubular Steel. He’s relatively invisible, which maybe fits his character. He has a LinkedIn profile, but only a few connections. This is a slightly better (but not much) bit of info, https://www.tsiholding.com/who-we-are.

Continuing onto page 182

The somewhat sad, somewhat humorous, story of how Tubular Steel engaged Arbinger and had the management team reflect on the statement, “As far as I am concerned, the problem is me.” The company seemed to catch on, and Jack did the recap by telling everyone, “as far as you are concerned, the problem is you.”

TD> Oops. I get that. The good and the bad.

Through the middle of page 182, we learn that Jack got past his deception and was able to make a major turnaround, improving revenue in a shrinking market.

Starting at the last paragraph on page 183, to almost the bottom of page 185, we learn of Arbinger’s Mindset Assessment, and how people in organizations, consistently rathe themselves higher than they rate the companies they are in. And at the same time, believe their own self-assessment is more accurate than their co-workers. Of special note is the measurement of “horizontal alignment,” or how those in lateral positions are rated. This one items still has a gap from personal to corporate, but typically smaller than the other assessment items.

Summary: The stories in LaSD are based on reality and Arbinger’s consulting experience. Even people who have been trained to notice self-deception are still able to easily fall into the trap. We don’t know what we don’t know without outside help, which is somewhat embarrassing to receive, even when we ask for it!

LaSD, Chapter 24

Chapter 24. Another Chance

Last chapter ended with Lou having tried to explain all that he’d learned in Arizona, and how much he needed Kate back. She was understandably cautious and said she would have to think about it.

Page 170

Obviously Kate did call, agreed to come back, and together they created the company that Zagrum is today.

Mistakes were made.

[Lou] The only thing we id really well at the outset was to cover with our people the ideas you’ve learned over these last two days. That initial process and change made a big difference.

TD> Do you think Lou could have remember all he’d learned in two days in Arizona, enough to turn this into a new lifestyle, or were there maybe some phone calls, or even consulting visits, to get the whole process right? Regardless of how it was done, it worked!

Middle of page 170 and through page 171 and onto 172

Bud takes over for Lou and continues the story. Over 20 years, added a second and third phase to the effort that lead to what Lou calls a “Accountability Transformation System” that greatly reduces common organizational problems, including:

  • Minimizes self-betrayal
  • Focus people on accomplishment, not justification
  • Creates a system where people focus on others instead of self. Lou adds the kicker: if you’re focused on other, what are you NOT focused on?  Self!

Restated: “In a disciplined, sustained fashion, we keep people focused on results and on others.” Blame is replaced with responsibility-taking and accountability.

About one-third down page 172

[Tom] What about seeing those underachievers as people?

[Lou] Letting people go is a behavior [that can be done in or out of the box] … In the unfortunate case where we have to let someone go, we aim to let a person go, not an object. It’s an entirely different things.

[Tom] realizing (to himself) that his future at Zagrum depended on getting this right.

TD> The irony. As they are in the midst of a conversation about how the accountability transformation system is about others he makes it about himself. Apparently undetected, or at least unmentioned.

Toward the bottom of the page

Tom says he’s ready for phase 2, and Bud says he’s not. With a smile.

Page 173

Bud reiterates that Tom isn’t ready, but that he’s not really different from anyone else. Sets up plan to talk again in about a week, and sets the expectation that Tom is in for some hard, but rewarding, work.

Middle of the page

[Bud] By the way, … I have some homework for you.

Through the end of the page and the start of page 174, Bud asks Tom to think back to when he worked with Chuck Staehli. The challenge, were you looking to help or were you looking for things to go wrong? Who’s trust did you earn?

Middle of page 174

Bud gives Tom a card. Not exactly a summary of the book, but some good pieces.

Here it is, clipped together from the two pieces spread across two pages.

The “card:”

Toward the bottom of page 175 and onto the top of page 176

Lou goes back to the story of his son, Cory, and how two months after dropping him off they made the ride all the way out in the wilderness to pick him up. Now we learn that Lou and Cory had been exchanging letters during these two months. Very deep letters, full of feelings

The rest of page 176

Lou tells the story of the reconnection. Hugs and sobs and the statements from each of “I’ll never let you down again.”

Page 177

Lou connects family and work. Companies fail for the same reasons as families. People resisting others who they should be connecting with.

Final lines from Lou, “we don’t know who we work and live with — whether it be Bud, Kate, your wife, your son, even someone like Chuck Staehli — until we leave the box and join them.

TD> Pretty clear at this point that Lou doesn’t fully share Tom’s super-negative opinion of Chuck Staehli. And maybe by this point Tom is softening too.

And suddenly we’re done! We don’t know what else happened. Is that a setup for another book? Arbinger has done two more related books, but neither of them continues this story, at least not directly.

Chapter Summary: Kate does return to Zagrum and she and Lou implement what he has learned, crating what they call an “Accountability Transformation System” that helps everyone focus on the goals and each other, rather than self-justification. Lou gives a little more of the story of reconnecting with his son, plus he challenges Tom to rethink his thoughts on Chuck Staehli.

And we’ll never know the outcome!

Here’s the reminder diagram Lou gave to Tom, perhaps on a laminated card.

LaSD, Chapter 23

Chapter 23. Birth of a Leader

Last chapter was about Lou and his story of enlightenment in Arizona, where he learned the material we’re not learning, and ending with his need to “go see Kate.”

Page 166 & 167

Lou and Carol’s changed plans and Lou’s urgent need to get back home, then go see Kate. Including his need to take her a ladder. Slightest of back story about how Lou had rejected Kate’s idea for a sales prop, which had led to her, and others, resigning and Lou instantly firing them and having them escorted out of the building.

At least on page 167 there was the bit of Kate busting out laughing seeing Lou with the ladder across his back.

Seems we get a little extra glimpse into Lou, of the past, in that he had a limo driver. Perhaps just airport transportation, or maybe this was his everyday transportation. Nothing more mentioned about it.

Page 167 through the end of the chapter, across 3 hours, Lou tries to explain what he’d learned. Lou thinks he botched it. He does realize,  “… it wasn’t so important what I said. She could tell, whatever it was I was talking about, that I meant it.”

TD>  Sometimes meaning goes way beyond the words. Thinking about those rare moments when I communicate a point even though the words are so wrong. What is it about honesty, transparency, or some other quality I can’t even name, that makes some interactions so profound and meaningful? What is that “next level” of communication, beyond just the words? Figure that out and write the book. You’ll make millions!

Lou tells Kate that he has some ideas, but needs her to help flesh them out. Not too surprisingly, Kate wants to think about it. Lou agrees and says he’ll be waiting by the phone.

TD> This sounds like pre-cell phone days. I wonder if Lou really did wait by the phone, for hours, maybe days?

Chapter Summary: Lou retells the story of the end of his experience in Arizona and how it changed him and he had to go see Kate. He accepted that she might say ‘no,’ but he had to ask her to come back. He tried to explain what he’d learned, and maybe she got it, maybe not, but she could tell it was something Lou really meant. Lou really wants Kate back, and she is, understandably, cautious.

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