Leadership blind spots are those critical flaws which can eat away at employee trust and motivation. These are serious problems when it comes to keeping your team productive and on point. Examples of leadership blind spots include a lack of strategic thinking, never being wrong, making assumptions, and depending too much on past experiences to accomplish future goals.
The problem with blind spots is that most leaders have a difficult time acknowledging their own blind spots, but only when you accept that an issue exists can you make changes to address the core issue.
The Dangers of Blind Spots
Essentially, blind spots are an unrecognized weakness that have the power to completely undermine your own efforts and potential for success. Leadership requires confidence but also insight. Seeing situations clearly, without personal bias or distortion is very difficult even for strong leaders. But leaders need to balance that confidence and vision with good judgement or risk losing the loyalty of their team or making outright bad decisions.
Common Leadership Blind Spots
While each individual has their own biases and experiences that shape their perspective, there are a number of common blind spots seen throughout leaders in the business world.
- Lack of Strategic Thinking: Leaders with strong operational skills and backgrounds often have difficulty identifying the clear strategic outlook that is required to accomplish high level goals.
- Over-Valuing Being Right: Leaders who think they have all the answers are suffering from a sever blind spot because it makes them less willing to listen to the perspective of others. Truly effective leaders are able to receive input from many different stakeholders without interrupting or abruptly ending conversations.
- Failing to Think About How: Many leaders focus too deeply on what they want to accomplish and fail to consider the how of a situation. This can lead their team to making poor decisions in the face of this perspective of the ends justifying the means.
- Ignoring Your Impact: Assuming that all your team members have the same motivations, goals, and communication style as you is a definite blind spot that can lead to confusion and frustration.
- Being Stuck in the Past: By equating the present with the past, leaders fail to recognize new challenges in the face of consistency with past successes. They fail to realize that what got them here won’t get them there.
How to See Beyond Your Own Blind Spots
Learning to see past your blind spots is actually a reasonable task. You can do this by instating a warning system comprised of at least one person who you trust to offer feedback when needed. You can do this by brushing up on your leadership skillls. You can also address your blind spots by building a good team of smart and diverse people who are willing to stick up for what they believe in. Lastly, you should assess yourself on a regular basis through employee surveys and skip level interviews that will help point out areas of weakness that you don’t yet recognize.
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