From a driving perspective, it can cost you an accident and higher insurance rates.
From a leadership perspective, it can cost you a career and put your organization at risk.
Everyone has blind spots, no matter how self-aware we think we are. Think about it. When we ask others to describe us, it tends to lean more towards the positive (e.g., empathetic, resourceful, adaptable, etc.).
What do we often do with the unsolicited negative descriptions of us (e.g., arrogant, selfish, bossy, etc.)? We chalk it up to the messenger being out of their mind.
If different individuals use the same unfavorable words to describe you, there’s a high probability it is a blind spot.
We often view ourselves differently than others. Imagine my surprise after completing a 360 Assessment. Areas I wished to improve were ranked as strengths by others. Whereas, areas I felt more comfortable with revealed that some tweaking could be to my benefit.
Some leaders take for granted that being in business for a significant period, means they are doing everything right. When in reality, they are often one disruption away from closing their doors.
Blind spot leadership ultimately costs team performance, customers, and future growth.
A year ago, I welcomed a four-year-old (32 in human years) untrained Yorkshire Terrier into our family. It has not been the smoothest transition, but we have made great strides. There is an adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but that doesn’t hold up well if the old dog wants to learn.
Growth is possible for everyone, no matter their age. We cannot define people by their past, and their history is not always a predictor of their future. We must let go of unrealistic expectations, which isn’t easy to do. I have gone from my home smelling like potpourri throughout, to the smell of dog urine in unexpected places. Yet, I am appreciative of the continued progress our Yorkie makes with consistent training.
Leadership is about enabling the full potential in others regardless the age or history. In this era of longevity, making assumptions about the learning capabilities of a multi-generational workforce is a mistake. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Be realistic that it may take a little longer than a young dog. But, once that old dog learns, it’s there for the long-term.