Arbinger's bestselling book, Leadership and Self-Deception

Since its original publication in 2000, Leadership and Self-Deception has become a word-of-mouth phenomenon. This book shows how the problems that typically prevent superior performance in organizations and cause conflicts in our personal lives are the result of a little-known problem called self-deception. When trapped in self-deception, we live and work as if trapped in a box. We can’t see the reality around us—we’re blind to the self-serving motivations that are sabotaging us on the job and at home. But there is a way out. Through an entertaining and engaging story, Leadership and Self-Deception shows what self-deception is, how it infects our lives, the damage it does, and, most importantly, what can be done about it. This third edition includes new research about the impact of self-deception in organizations and the keys to eliminating its devastating effects.

Study Guide

The reflection and discussion questions in this guide can be used to enrich individual and group study of Leadership and Self-Deception. Reading, pondering, and discussing the book using this guide can help you implement changes in thought patterns, assumptions about situations in your life, or views of yourself and others. The process is enhanced by reflecting on, writing about, and/or discussing the topic prompts and thought provoking questions this guide provides.


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Mindset Assessment

This assessment gauges your individual mindset profile as well as the prevailing mindsets in your organization based on your observations. When organizations field this survey widely, they receive detailed insights into employees’ experience and perception of their work.

Upon completion of an assessment, we present an analysis of the findings along with recommendations for steps to take to improve mindset and performance.


Access the diagrams from Leadership and Self Deception in this downloadable PDF. These diagrams are meant to accompany the audio and e-book versions of the book. For visually impaired access to the diagrams, the audio book now contains full descriptions of the diagrams within the main text.


Arbinger’s Intellectual Foundations

The academic work upon which Arbinger is built has been hailed as “nothing short of a new psychology.” This whitepaper provides an introduction to the robust intellectual underpinnings of Arbinger’s programs and methodologies.

What We Are

Because we deceive ourselves so systematically, we actually have little comprehension of what we are. But we can be free of self-deception. We can learn the truth about ourselves. And what we learn transforms our experience.


The Outward Mindset

Through examples and simple yet profound guidance and tools, The Outward Mindset enables individuals and organizations to make the one change that most dramatically improves performance, sparks collaboration, and accelerates innovation—a shift to an outward mindset.

The Anatomy of Peace

What if, in our conflicts with others, there is something we want more than solutions? What if we systematically misunderstand the causes of our conflicts? And what if, therefore, we unwittingly perpetuate the very problems we are trying to solve? These are among the important questions explored in this book.

Other Publications

Explore the ideas of self-deception and outward mindset in more depth through these books, available only through Arbinger. These publications include a collection of papers by Arbinger’s founder, that illuminate Arbinger’s robust academic underpinnings.