Most articles on blind spots are written about leaders and their blind spots. OK, in the interest of transparency, even I’ve written a couple in that same vein The RX for Diagnosing and Curing Blind Spots and Seeing Your Blind Spots
People at all levels in all organizations have a blind spot about something. Since leaders in the C-Suite bear a lot of responsibility, blind spots can be expensive and therefore garner the most attention. However, regular people, like you and me with the non-leadership salaries, need to be just as aware of our own blind spots that you may think don’t matter. And why is that?
Blind spots can be found in every element of business. A quote by Peter Thiel, cofounder and former CEO of PayPal expresses it best: “As CEO, you’re somehow both the total insider and the total outsider at the same time. In some ways you’re at the center of the organization. In other contexts, you’re like the last person to know anything.” Unfortunately, a CEO can create his/her own blind spots through their own behaviors and actions or non-action. Here are some examples and how to overcome creating blind spots.
The Disconnect: CEOs and teams have a disconnect on the team’s priorities. The CEO thinks that everyone on his team is on the same page, unfortunately that is not always the case. This was proven on a project for one of my clients. The Executive Team agreed to grow the organization. However, it came to light that including the Executive Team and going two tiers down, opinions on the growth of the organization ranged from at least one individual who had no idea that the decision was definite all the way to going global and everything in between to accomplish this growth. There were many pages of opinions and no one was on the same page. Clearly the CEO had not communicated his vision clearly enough to his own team or kept in touch with them on thiers. It is almost impossible to overcommunicate when change is on the agenda.
We all have them. Some can’t see them at all. Some of us have more of them than others. Some of us try to deny them. Some of us try to work around them. Some of us try to work with them. Some of us see them, work to reduce them, and help our teams do the same. Do you or your team fit any of these categories?