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Leadership Blindspots

How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses that Matter

By Robert Bruce Shaw
13-minute read
Audio available
Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses that Matter by Robert Bruce Shaw

Leadership Blindspots is all about the unknowns that set us back – the gaps in our skills, knowledge and understanding that cause our business efficiency and problem-solving skills to falter. By following the techniques outlined in this book, you can effectively identify and eliminate your own blind spots.

  • Anyone interested in psychology
  • Leaders interested in improving their performance and tackling risks and threats
  • Employees who want to help their leaders be successful

Robert Bruce Shaw is a management consultant who helps senior executives to improve leadership performance and manage strategic organizational change. He has written numerous articles on management as well as another book, Trust in the Balance.

 

© Robert Bruce Shaw: Leadership Blindspots copyright 2014, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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Leadership Blindspots

How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses that Matter

By Robert Bruce Shaw
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses that Matter by Robert Bruce Shaw
Synopsis

Leadership Blindspots is all about the unknowns that set us back – the gaps in our skills, knowledge and understanding that cause our business efficiency and problem-solving skills to falter. By following the techniques outlined in this book, you can effectively identify and eliminate your own blind spots.

Key idea 1 of 8

Blind spots are unrecognized weaknesses or threats that can undermine your success.

They say that “pride comes before a fall.” When you are at your most confident you are also at your greatest risk of a defeat or set back. Why is this the case?

Well, even when we feel we’re at our most powerful, there are sure to be hidden blind spots. Indeed, even the most experienced leaders have blind spots that can cause them huge problems if they aren’t careful.

Even a great visionary like Steve Jobs suffered from blind spots, despite his reputation for success.

Although effective, Jobs’ leadership style angered many of his colleagues. For example, he would refuse to see any information that didn’t support his views, and would simply ignore those who disagreed with him.

Worse still, Jobs had zero awareness that people harbored negative feelings about him. His belief in his own greatness shrouded his perception.

This blind spot eventually had massive consequences when he got into a quarrel with Apple CEO John Sculley. Jobs demanded that the board remove his rival, yet faced with the ultimatum of keeping either Jobs or Sculley, the board warned that it would be the divisive Jobs who would be packing his bags.

Leadership blind spots can have catastrophic consequences, and the more power a leader has within a company, the greater the consequences of her blind spot.

Take Ron Johnson, for example, who did wonders as a retail leader at Target and Apple before being snatched up by JCPenney as their new CEO. JCPenney hoped he would transform the company, and gave him plenty of power to do so. This was a huge mistake.

In his arrogance, he made sweeping changes, including deep price cuts. His confidence hid his lack of knowledge about the company’s values and image, and ultimately resulted in a loss of $1 billion in the first year as JCPenney lost its traditional customers.

Clearly, blind spots can be severely damaging for your company and career. In the following blinks, we’ll examine how you can identify your own personal blind spots.

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