Blind spots are weaknesses and threats that leaders fail to recognize and the costs of neglecting them can be high.
Everyone has blind spots, in their personal lives and at work. A study by Development Dimensions International Inc. found that 89% of front-line leaders have at least one blind spot in their leadership skills.
The weaknesses that hold leaders back aren’t just in the leader themselves but can be found within their team, the company, and markets. Let’s explore the 4 areas where blind spots in leadership exist:
Overestimating Your Strategic Capability
Leaders who get promoted to a higher level that requires them to be more strategic is often a blindspot for the leader whose strength was more operational than strategic in nature.
Valuing Being Right Over Being Effective
Many leaders think they already have all the answers and are unwilling to spend any time listening to others who may have the correct answer or a better course of action.
Failing To Balance the What with the How
This happens when the leader is more concerned with achieving success and not the process it took to get there.
Not Seeing Your Impact on Others
Many leaders assume that all of their followers have the similar motivations, goals, values, and communication styles and this often leads to confusion and frustration.
Believing the Rules Don’t Apply To You
Many leaders start to develop a sense of entitlement the more successful they become or the longer they are with the company.
Thinking the Present Is the Past
Some leaders might get stuck in the past particularly if past events led to today’s success.
Failing To Focus On the Vital Few
Many leaders often focus on too many projects rather than on two or three key initiatives that guarantee success.
Taking Your Team Model For Granted
When a leader puts themselves at the center of the team forcing everything to go through them, decision-making is slowed down and congested.
Overrating the Talent On Your Team
Many leaders can easily become blind to their team’s current struggles particularly if they had prior success.
Avoiding the Tough Conversations
Some leaders are simply non-confrontational and fail to realize the effects of dodging difficult conversations and leaving issues unresolved.
Trusting the Wrong Individuals
Many leaders start to form an inner circle and end up closing themselves off from new ideas from other team members.
Not Developing a Successor
Many leaders who are so focused on their own success fail to focus on the long-term developmental needs of the company by molding someone else to take on bigger responsibilities.
Failing to Capture the Hearts and Minds
Gaining trust through effective communication is a crucial characteristic of successful leadership, and many leaders fail to recognize that.
Losing Touch With Your Shop Floor
Some leaders reach such high levels of success that they fail to identify with the many layers of the organization.
Treating Opinion As Fact
Information is constantly changing and some leaders fail to accept new approaches when their opinion has proven valid in the past.
Misreading the Political Landscape
Politics are often necessary and useful when it involves positively influencing those who have an impact on the organization.
Putting Personal Ambition Ahead of the Organization’s Best Interest
Many leaders fail to choose company interest over their own agenda and their actions could lead to company consequences.
Clinging To The Status Quo
Many leaders dread change or are uncertain of their new role and are likely to assess market changes and evolving customer demands inaccurately.
Underestimating Your Competitors
Some leaders are so focused on internal issues and past successes that they fail to see the threats of innovative competition.
Being Overly Optimistic
Many leaders in their effort to spread positivity fail to accept the reality of a situation that has already presented the facts and potential of failure.
Overcoming Blind Spots
A leadership coach would advise that the best approach to overcoming blind spots in leadership is to spend more time out of the office to broaden your network. By spending more time with your customers, your team, and industry leaders, you are more likely to recognize the reality and existence of these blind spots.
If you found value in this blog and if you have time, let’s jump on a call to brainstorm some strategic leadership concepts you may be unfamiliar with…I think you might be pleasantly surprised!
Then, without obligation, we can consider if working together would be beneficial. If that sounds good, you can use this link to schedule a time convenient to you for us to chat: https://meetme.so/GregNichvalodoff
I look forward to furthering our connection and learning more about you and your business.