I recently returned from a trip that included a 15+ hour drive in one day. I can’t even tell you the number of times I used my rear-view mirrors to navigate the road on that trip. I relied on them to bring into view my blind spots, and everything in them. On more than one occasion, they saved me from an unfortunate collision.
What is a blind spot? It’s something others can see that you can’t. The ill effects of ignoring blind spots can be serious and damaging. This doesn’t apply only to driving, it applies to life and especially to leadership. Strong leaders are quick to identify and remove their blind spots to insure success.
How to identify and remove your blind spots.
- Be Self-Aware. A few years ago I went to physical therapy for a running injury. My PT would observe me performing various exercises and gave me feedback as to what I was unconsciously doing that was hurting me. As an outside observer, he could pinpoint my issues in a way that I couldn’t. Once you become aware of a blind spot, you can then work to fix it. Sometimes, becoming self-aware requires outside help. That is why professional athletes and executives alike benefit from hiring a coach to assist them. However even just an honest opinion from someone close to you can be invaluable as well.
- Commitment to Self-Development. The most important decision you can make to your success is a commitment to self-development. Employ a variety of tools: read, listen to audio books and podcasts, get a mentor, join a mastermind group, attend seminars. There are numerous ways you can develop and grow. If you aren’t actively working on developing as a leader then you are slowly becoming irrelevant and ineffective.
- Willingness to Change – No Excuses. Lose the pride. When you offer up excuses for your behavior, you’re not taking responsibility for them, and you lose respect. You’re still blaming circumstances or other people for your choices and actions. Strong leaders just accept responsibility, make appropriate changes and move on. They earn respect when they demonstrate this kind of humility and integrity. No one wants to hear the “why.” Just change! You need to take some time to explore your actions/decisions. Draw from them what you can to learn and grow but don’t take others on your personal journey of reflection. They don’t need to know your details, they just need to know what changes will be made and how it impacts them.
Blind spots can have a negative impact on your performance as a leader. Strong and effective leaders take definitive steps to identify and correct their blind spots for best results.
As you become higher in the organization, it becomes increasingly difficult to find someone who will give you candid feedback. As a leader, candid feedback is imperative. A coach is an excellent way to get the feedback you require to keep you sharp and effective. Kaylene Mathews is the President and owner of KSMLifeCoaching LLC. She offers both personal and group coaching services as well as PeopleMap assessments and training workshops for individuals, groups and corporate teams in the DFW area. For more information visit: http://ksmlifecoaching.com/