Driving a rental car, I spend time adjusting the side mirrors. It’s a frustration that no matter how I position them, I aways have a blind spot. As leaders, we also have blind spots. We can’t help it. We each view the world through a different lens. The lens may be a personality type, a viewpoint, a belief or any number of things. All ways of being in the world – our personality types – are valid and useful. Being an introvert or an extrovert, for example, is neither good nor bad. We may be more analytical or more creative. Neither is good or bad. It just is. It effects how we see the world, and the actions we take. Leaders, beware of the blind spots.
Recently, I attended an excellent workshop on Intentional Leadership with Leadership Expert, Jane A. G. Kise. Her new book is Intentional Leadership: 12 Lenses for focusing Strengths, Managing Weaknesses, and Achieving Your Purpose. As leaders, we are often taught to focus on our strengths. Strengths-based leadership is about focusing on our strengths but also managing our weaknesses. When we ignore our weaknesses, our blind spots, we can end up on a path of destruction.
I believe that we are each leaders. We may be leaders in our home, our volunteer positions, our careers or businesses. Yet we are all leaders of our own life. We lead others by what we do. Others follow our actions not or words. We love to follow leaders who walk their talk, whose words and actions match. If what they are saying does not work for them, then why should we do it.
Leaders, Beware of the Blind Spot
The blind spot comes when we see our way of being as the right way, the best way and we want to surround ourselves with people like us. As a leader, we may best benefit from having a team that is not like us. Valuing the strengths, skills, gifts and viewpoints each person brings. Think about the people on your team, whether in a formal or informal setting. Do you surround yourself only with yes people, people who think just like you, act like you and agree with you? If so, what are you missing? How could your life be enriched and informed by people different from you? We are only as strong as the weak link in the chain; we are only able to lead when we are not only informed by our strengths, but also out blind spots.
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