Good leaders become great by skillfully managing their own vulnerabilities
Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter is a comprehensive guide to recognizing and acting on the weak points that can impair effectiveness, diminish results, and harm a career. Written by a 30-year veteran of the leadership consulting industry and author of Trust in the Balance, the book contains examples, worksheets and surveys that illustrate the practical application of the advice presented. An online questionnaire helps readers discover their own leadership vulnerabilities, and the book provides a roadmap for creating a targeted plan to increase their awareness in the areas that truly matter.
The blindspot risk is that leaders fail to respond to weaknesses or threats due to a variety of factors including the complexity of their organizations, over-confidence in their own capabilities, and being surrounded by deferential subordinates. Leadership Blindspots provides a useful model for understanding how blindspots operate and why they persist, but at the same time suggests real, actionable steps to improvement. The book details a range of techniques that make blindspots stand out in sharp relief, so action can be taken before severe damage occurs to a leader or his or her company. Topics include:
A framework to understand the threats posed by blindspots
The four most important types of blindspots self, team, company and markets
Detailed case studies of blindspots in leaders across a variety of industries
A summary of the most common leadership blindspots
Corrective practices that help mitigate the risks that blindspots pose
The one characteristic great leaders share is the constant desire for self-improvement. Good can always be better. These weaknesses and threats are called blindspots because they are invisible to the individual but have the potential to wreak havoc on one's reputation and long-term success. Identifying and fixing crucial problems is the leader's job, and sometimes the most debilitating problems are with the leaders themselves. Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter is the first step toward owning and addressing one's vulnerabilities and, as a result, becoming a more effective leader.
ROBERT BRUCE SHAW is a management consultant specializing in organization and leadership performance. He has worked closely with leaders and their teams in a wide range of industries and is the author of several books, including Trust in the Balance: Building Successful Organizations on Results, Integrity, and Concern.
Introduction ix Section 1: Why Blindspots Matter Chapter 1: The Dangers and Rewards of Being Blind 3 Chapter 2: How to Spot Blindspots in Yourself and Others 17 Chapter 3: The Common Blindspots Holding Leaders Back 35 Chapter 4: Why Blindspots Are an Ever-Present Challenge 55 Section 2: How to Surface and Overcome Blindspots Chapter 5: See It for Yourself: Customers, Colleagues, and Outsiders 71 Chapter 6: Seek Out That Which Disconfirms What You Believe 91 Chapter 7: Develop Peripheral Vision and See What Others Miss 117 Chapter 8: Build a Network of Trusted Advisors in Critical Areas 131 Chapter 9: Promote Productive Team Fights on the Vital Few Priorities 145 Conclusion 163 Section 3: Additional Resources Resource A: Blindspot Q&A 173 Resource B: Leadership Blindspot Survey: Self-Assessment 177 Resource C: Common Leadership Blindspots: Feedback Worksheet 183 Resource D: Readings on Leadership Blindspots 187 Notes 189 Acknowledgments 205 About the Author 207 Index 209