Sudden Breakthroughs in Subtle Blind Spots

Successful leaders have the wonderful capacity to tragically misjudge themselves.

We snicker or cringe at people who believe they’re great singers, when they can’t carry a tune. But, what if you’re that person? Truth be told, you have blind spots.

The most common blind spot is believing others have them, but you don’t.

the most common blind spot is believing others have them but you don't.png

Blind spots are unrecognized weaknesses, inconsistencies, or failures that propagate the comfortable myth that you’re succeeding when you’re failing.

Blind spots shorten reach, shrink impact, diminish satisfaction, and frustrate others.

5 leadership blindspots:

#1. Over-estimating your strengths. You think you’re a great communicator. They think you’re boring. 

#2. Over-estimating your approachability. You see yourself as welcoming and open. Teammates nickname you, “Pitbull.”

#3. Over-estimating your listening skills. You think you’re exploring options. In reality, you’re killing ideas, cutting people off, and talking too much.

#4. Over-confidence in your solutions. You call it problem solving. They call it defending your viewpoint and devaluing theirs.

#5. Over-confidence in your ability to understand how others think and feel. You call it insight. They call it out of touch.

From blind spot to breakthrough:

Blind spots become breakthroughs when you see and solve them with others.

  1. Say, “I have blind spots,” even if you don’t see them.
  2. Have conversations about blind spots with trusted allies. One way to spot blind spots is for someone else to point them out.
  3. Take a 360 degree evaluation.
  4. Resist the inclination to deny. Go with, not against.
  5. Explore recurring frustrations.
  6. Examine negative patterns or failures.
  7. Design solutions with others. Go with their gut, not yours.
  8. Try new behaviors that feel awkward.
  9. Seek feedback frequently.
  10. Repeat.

What are common leadership blind spots?

How might blind spots represent opportunity?