A blind spot is defined as a point that is outside the purview of the visual field. In anatomy, it’s the spot where the visual fields of your eyes converge.
When you drive a truck, you are always reminded of your blind spots, especially when it involves motorcycles and small vehicles. In the NFL, the left tackle is tasked to protect the quarterback’s blind spot, which is also called the blindside.
But how does this related to Leadership?
Even the best leaders among us have their blind spots. For the most part, it’s a loved one. In their eyes, their children couldn’t do anything wrong. And they prematurely turn in the reins of power, even when their kids are not competent or ready.
According to this report, only 10% of businesses succeed past the third generation.
There are so many reasons that can explain the trend; however, even business patriarchs are guilty of sometimes succumbing to these blind spots that can derail their Leadership potentials.
Here are some of the most common blind spots to look out for if you have any plans of being a leader:
1. Overconfidence of one’s ability – Leaders usually are not lacking in confidence. After all, they got to where they are mostly because of their belief in their ability to lead. However, the best leaders know that they don’t know everything. Even Bill Gates admitted that no matter how good he may think he is at his job, there are specialists or “hedgehogs” out there who are better than him.
2. Buying into the hype – Some leaders who achieved success early can sometimes allow it to get to their heads. Meanwhile, some leaders made it to the top on their own. While they might have developed their company into a multi-billion-dollar business, they may resent suggestions from others. That’s when the ego comes in the way. It’s now a matter of being right than doing right.
3. Children are not as good as we think they are – This is a hard pill to swallow. But even if they are your kids, it doesn’t mean they are cut from the same cloth. They might not be interested in running the family business as they have other interests. It’s more painful to see them squander the business you built from scratch than turning over the business to a management team or the board of directors.
4. Playing favorites – Sadly, this is much more common than you think. In almost every company, you can always spot a sycophant from a mile away. They are often incompetent, but they sit close to the seat of power. It’s always a mystery how intelligent leaders couldn’t see a bootlicker when their face is so close to their behinds. But then sycophants are experts at telling their bosses everything they want to hear. And power can be addictive.
Generating feedback from your employees and supervisors will allow you to assess your leadership skills and spot your blind spots. But the only way to generate feedback is to do it anonymously so employees won’t hold back.