Leadership Derailers: Blind Spots – I’m So Awesome

I’m so awesome!

There are a dozen yellow roses on the counter in our house. I bought them for my bride. Frankly, she receives flowers much more than on Valentine’s Day. I’m a fabulous husband!

I wonder why she’s upset with my harsh tone. “Wake up and smell the roses, baby!”

Blind spot thinking:

If roses don’t compensate for harsh tones, I’m not going to give her roses. Never mind that roses are supposed to be about love, not credits to cover future offenses.

You might expect people to bow down because you did something good. From your point of view, the Christmas bonus of ’82 should compensate for today’s unrealistic expectations. Those ungrateful minions!

Blind spot = good is stronger than bad:

Bad is stronger than good, EXCEPT when it comes to the bad YOU do. You overvalue the good you do and underappreciate the impact of the bad you do.

When you do bad, others should overlook it.

Internal self-evaluation tips in your favor. You deserve more appreciation. People should give you more slack. After all, you’re a good person. You’re trying to help.

Get real about blind spots:

You’re not as great as you think, and others aren’t as bad as you think. (Yes, there are exceptions. But you aren’t one.)

Repeat after me…

  1. I’m pushy, even though I think I’m a fuzzy teddy bear.
  2. I come off as grumpy, when I think I’m smiling.
  3. I’m not as open as I proclaim.
  4. My quick bursts of frustration are inexcusable.
  5. I bore people when I blab on and on. I should probably talk less and listen more by a factor of 1:5.

Stop using the good to excuse the bad.

Tip: The next time someone gently mentions something you might improve, magnify the intensity of their feedback by a factor of 50.

How might leaders underappreciate the impact of their negative qualities and behaviors?

What suggestions do you have for compensating for the “I’m awesome” problem?

Bonus Material:

Blind Spots that Plague Even the Best Leaders (FastCompany)

The Top 10 Leadership Blind Spots, and 5 Ways to Turn them into Strengths (Inc)

5 Leadership Blind Spots (and how to Overcome Them) (Business News Daily)