5 Essential Skills For Driving Innovation

Every organization has their own culture, core values and mission statement.

Every leader has their own norms and leadership style.

Therefore, every leader demonstrates the importance of innovation and societal rules within their organisation.

5 Essential Skills For Driving Innovation #skills #leadershipskills #leadershipdevelopment #leadership #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com
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No One Understands You and What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson

We seldom are perceived the way we see ourselves or the way we want to be perceived.

Contrary to popular belief, our facial expressions are not always readable, our emotions are not that obvious and we don’t communicate as much as we think we do.

No One Understands You and What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson #books #bookreviews #communication #skills #communicationskills #selfimprovement #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

Guided Perceptions

There are many heuristics and assumptions that guide our perceptions and create inaccurate interpretations of people.

Assumption #1: The confirmation bias

Some people look at you and see what they expect to see, taking into account the stereotypes of the groups to which you belong, your culture and their past experiences with you.

Assumption #2: The primary effect

Other people forme their perceptions of you using their initial impression of you.

With this assumption, first impressions are lasting impressions.

Assumption #3: Stereotypes

Stereotypes are the beliefs about categories of people to “better understand” them.

Assumption #4: The halo effect

The halo effect is the belief that someone, with one powerful positive trait, has a lot more positive traits.

Assumption #5: The false-consensus effect

The false-consensus effect is the belief that others think and feel the same way that we do.

The Two Phases of Perception

There are two phases of perception that exist in every interactions: Phase 1 or System 1 and Phase 2 or System 2.

Phase 1 or System 1 is the automatic and effortless ability to recognize strong emotions in someone’s facial expression and voice, to identify, categorize and interpret a given behavior, to attach that given behavior to “some aspect of your personality, character or abilities”.

First impressions are made in Phase 1.

Perception often stops at Phase 1 and people, being busy, tend to rely heavily on heuristics and assumptions.

Phase 2 or System 2 is the ability, through complex and effortful mental operations to get a complete and accurate understanding of someone, by taking into account additional factors about yourself.

This effort has to purposefully be motivated by an attention-grabbing circumstance.

Distortion of The Phases of Perception

The level of trust, the possession of power and the size of the ego tend have an impact on these phases of perception.

However, these distortions can be averted by understanding the circumstances and the wanted results of each interaction.

The level of trust

Most of the time, people are not just trying to make assumptions about you but are trying to find out unconsciously if they can trust you, especially in the workplace: are you a friend or a foe?

The decision to trust is made unconsciously in Phase 1 of perception and depends on the way that you project warmth and competence.

To increase trust to the people around you:

  • Convey warmth indirectly by giving subtle but genuine complements, by providing assistance whenever you can, by showing interest in others feelings and thoughts.
  • Demonstrate empathy by acknowledging someone else’s perspective.
  • Manifest your trust in people first by being cooperative, talking about your vulnerabilities and challenges.
  • Transmit competence by making eye contact while speaking.
  • Show will power by showing self-control.
  • Avoid overconfidence by showing modesty and restraint.
  • Adopt a power pose in order to take up most of the space, to signal your competence.
  • Emphasize your potential for greatness and for success.

The possession of power

Having more or less power changes the impressions that we form about one another.

Powerful people tend to be overwhelmed with responsibilities and have no time to spare, to be focused on their goals, rely heavily on stereotypes to categorize people, stay stuck in Phase 1 of perception.

Furthermore, the sad truth is that powerful people don’t pay much attention to less powerful people.

To get noticed by powerful people and to increase your influence:

  • Be instrumental to their success.
  • Find out how you can align your. objectives with those of the powerful.
  • Ease their burden.
  • Anticipate their needs and challenges.
  • Avoid complementing them because they don’t care.

The size of the ego

Perception is distorted by the size of the ego in such ways that you must come out on top, feeling good about yourself.

Your ego has the purpose of protecting and enhancing your self-esteem.

To control the way people perceive you through their ego, you will need to:

  • Help people enhance their self-esteem.
  • Evaluate the threat that you and your abilities pose to your colleagues.
  • Be humble about your accomplishments, past and current difficulties. Avoid tooting your own horn, playing dumb or acting like someone else.
  • Affirm other people by praising them and their achievements.
  • Avoid stereotyping other people.

The eager reward seekers and the vigilant risk mitigators

The safety and security of our personal situations also poses a threat to our perceptions of people, of our colleagues and of our career.

On one hand, the eager reward seeker looks for opportunities everywhere, are effective, risk takers, rule breakers, adventurers, optimistic, motivated, innovative and often creative.

Unfortunately, eager reward seekers are prone to fail and to underestimate problems.

On the other, the vigilant risk mitigators see danger everywhere they go, are vigilant, risk averse, reliable, thorough and deliberate, prone to analytical thinking and self-doubt.

To get the best of both types of people, simply adapt your language to each of them by making one see a potential for gain and the other a cautionary plan.

The clingy, anxious and the aloof, avoidant

The need for closeness shapes our relationship with others.

The clingy and anxious people tend to have low self-esteem, need validation, constantly seek closeness and are worried that the people that they have built a relationship with will leave them, see injuries and slights where there aren’t, fear rejection.

To accommodate them, practise empathy, don’t take it personally, clarify your speech, stay reliable to this person.

The aloof and avoidant people don’t foster close relationships but instead maintain emotional distance.

To accommodate them, don’t take their behaviour personally, restraint your own warmth, give them time to open up.

Correcting bad impressions and fighting misunderstandings

Finally, to correct bad impressions and start over on the right track, you can exhibit attention-getting evidence of the contrary evidence of you so they can notice and cannot deny reality.

You can also force people to revisit their opinion of you by making them feel that their judgement is unfair or unequal.

Finally, you can make people depend on you and need you to reach their goals.

Review

No One Understands You and What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson is a great self-development book that explores the prominent reasons why we are often misunderstood and gives useful advice on how to clean up our reputation, to clarify a difficult situation.

Every single conclusion that Halvorson draws is scientifically researched and illustrated with probing examples.

This book is intended for people who have made past mistakes with people and want to correct them.

It was absolutely hard to read because Halvorson revealed hard truths, reminded me of the stereotypes that pursue me on a daily basis and that keep interfering with my goals, forces me to question myself and my behavior.

In addition, this book made me more self-conscious about my presentation to the world and my decisions, more aware that first impressions are critical, that most people don’t think the same way I do, react the same I do, or perceive me the same way I do.

Furthermore, No One Understands You and What To Do About It was also cathartic and purging, helped me become a better judge of others, understand that the way people treated me in the past was not my full responsibility.

In No One Understands You and What To Do About It, Heidi Grant Halvorson explains how perceptions are born, describes a set of stereotypes and assumptions that affect how people perceive you, the different ways for correcting bad impressions and for overcoming misunderstandings.

Favorite quote(s)

Studies show that while very strong, basic emotions—surprise, fear, disgust, and anger—are fairly easy to read, the more subtle emotions we experience on a daily basis are not.
You are never really starting from scratch with another person, even when you are meeting him or her for the first time. The perceiver’s brain is rapidly filling in details about you—many before you have even spoken a word. Knowing this gives you a sense of what you’ve got going for you and what you might be up against. And the more you can know in advance about your perceiver’s likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses, the better equipped you will be to anticipate what’s being projected onto you.

The benefits of projecting trustworthiness (and the costs of failing to do so) are Enormous, particularly in the workplace. Studies show, for instance, that the willingness to share knowledge with colleagues—a sticking point in most large organizations—is strongly predicted by feelings of trust among employees.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Heidi Grant Halvorson

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The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow By John C. Maxwell

There are 21 irrefutable laws of leadership that every leader should hold on to…

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow By John C. Maxwell #books #bookreviews #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #principles #fundamentals #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

1. The law of the lid

Your ability to lead determines your effectiveness, the height of your success, the limit of your vision, the impact of your influence.

To overcome the law of the lid, you have to increase your ability to lead.

2. The law of influence

Influence is an important part of leadership.

You have to put in work to gain influence. It is not about a title or a leadership position and cannot be bought.

With influence, you can rally people to a cause, move people in a new direction, and you can win people over on the long run.

3. The law of process

Leadership is a lifelong process.

LEADERSHIP IS DEVELOPED DAILY, NOT IN A DAY. - John C. Maxwell in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Click To Tweet

Leadership is a collection of skills that need continual improvement, personal growth and learning.

Leadership requires a lot of self discipline and determination. It is important for leaders to open themselves up for improvement to start slow and fight their way up.

4. The law of navigation

Leaders need to effectively navigate their way through life, while knowing people are depending on them.

In order to give themselves the best chances at success, they:

  • Are realistic.
  • Have to stay focused and in control.
  • Have a solid vision for their destination.
  • Have enough visibility to change course in time if they want to.
  • Draw their itinerary from their past failures and successes.
  • Listen to what their team has to say.
  • Don’t make commitments lightly.
  • Plan the course of their action.

5. The law of E. F. Hutton

Leaders become real leaders thanks to their character, relationships, knowledge, experience, past successes and abilities. People will not follow you because of your position.

The law of E. F. Hutton helps you figure out who the real leader in the room really is.

To find the real leader, observe the reaction of the people in the room when the real leader speaks.

6. The law of solid ground

Leaders must communicate their character, exemplify their behavior, maintain their credibility and avoid breaking the trust of their followers.

When leaders make a mistake, they must quickly admit it and ask for forgiveness.

7. The law of respect

Leaders who are stronger and better leaders than their followers tend to gain respect.

8. The law of intuition

The law of intuition is a complex part of leadership, relies on instinct, facts and other factors.

Leaders who work with the law of intuition are able to sense a situation, to read people and themselves, to use their intuition to achieve their goals and to solve problems.

9. The law of magnetism

The law of magnetism states that who you are is who you attract.

Leaders who follow this law are able to attract the people who possess the same qualities as they do.

They attract people with same attitude, from the same generation and background, with the same values, life experiences and abilities.

Character makes trust possible. And trust makes leadership possible. - John C. Maxwell in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Click To Tweet

10. The law of connection

Leaders who observe this law touch people emotionally, know how to communicate with people, connect with them and show that they care.

The more leaders work on the connection with their employees, the more employees are loyal and demonstrate a strong work ethic.

11. The law of the inner circle

The people in the leader’s inner circle will determine the leader’s potential.

Leaders understand that they cannot be a lone ranger and acknowledge the purpose and strengths of the inner circle.

12. The law of empowerment

Successful and secure leaders empower and believe in their team.

Those who don’t create a barrier that their employees cannot overcome.

13. The law of reproduction

The law of reproduction works in a way where only leaders are capable of developing leaders and by teaching them what they know.

Some leaders don’t develop other leaders because they don’t have time or because of their own insecurities.

14. The law of buy in

People buy into leaders who have a vision.

If they don’t like the leader or the vision, they get another leader.

If the leader is credible, then people believe that the vision is credible as well.

15. The law of victory

Leaders who observe this law refuse defeat, dedicate themselves to victory and find a way to achieve success.

16. The law of the big mo

Leaders understand that to create change they need to create momentum.

Momentum is contagious, improves performance and makes the leader look good.

17. The law of priorities

Leaders spend their time prioritizing and recognize that doing more does not equate success.

They use the Pareto principle and the three Rs( requirement, return, reward).

18. The law of sacrifice

Sometimes, leaders have to sacrifice themselves to succeed and to gain opportunities.

The higher you go up on the ladder, the more you have to sacrifice.

19. The law of timing

Successful leaders read situations, recognize when to lead and when to take the right action at the right time.

20. The law of explosive growth

Potential leaders are hard to find and to attract but leaders who develop other leaders multiply growth within their organization.

21. The law of legacy

Leaders who leave a legacy lead with tomorrow in mind, make developing other leaders as part of the culture, sacrifice for future success and pass on the torch.

Review

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow is an easy to read leadership development book.

In The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow, John C. Maxwell makes a list of 21 laws of leadership to help people better themselves and their organization.

These laws are the universal foundation for every area of your life. They can be learnt, be in standalone, have serious consequences, be practiced on a daily basis.

Maxwell has spent most of his life in leadership position. So, he entertains us with uncommon, historical and adventurous examples that everyone can relate to.

Finally, he encourages leaders to learn and go apply what they learnt.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Leadership is complicated. It has many facets: respect, experience, emotional strength, people skills, discipline, vision, momentum, timing—the list goes on. As you can see, many factors that come into play in leadership are intangible. That’s why leaders require so much seasoning to be effective.

The good news is that your leadership ability is not static. No matter where you’re starting from, you can get better.

The leader finds the dream and then the people. The people find the leader, and then the dream.

MANY PEOPLE TODAY WANT TO CLIMB UP THE CORPORATE LADDER BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT FREEDOM AND POWER ARE THE PRIZES WAITING AT THE TOP. THEY DON’T REALIZE THAT THE TRUE NATURE OF LEADERSHIP IS REALLY SACRIFICE.

Ratings 4/5

Author

John C. MaxwellDigiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2022

Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter by Robert Bruce Shaw

According to Robert Bruce Shaw, in Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, great leadership emanates from an ability to make great decisions which comes from making bad decisions and learning from them.

The sooner in your career that those bad decisions are made, the better.

Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter by Robert Bruce Shaw #leadership #selfawareness #selfimprovement #blindspots #journeytoleadership #bookreviews journeytoleadershipblog.com

Of course, you make fewer mistakes as you progress in your career and as you experience the outcomes of the mistakes, but you never stop making them.

In addition, mistakes are more costly as you move up the ladder in a company and can potentially derail your career.

In light of this issue, in Leadership Blindspots, Robert Bruce Shaw investigates the existence of leadership blindspot, an “unrecognized weakness or threat that has the potential to undermine a leader’s success” and that becomes evident in the way your team, organizations and markets are perceived.

How to characterize leadership blindspots?

First of all, leadership blindspots are often associated to leadership strengths.

They appear whenever the leader is utilizing his or her strengths at work.

Second of all, blindspots don’t disappear, even if you are fully aware of them.

Thirdly, blindspots are situational, adaptive and can be helpful.

And finally, blindspots are able to impact other people and followers.

Advice for understanding and dealing with leadership blindspots?

Furthermore, blindspots come with a price and has to be recognized by the leader in order for him or her to find a balance.

To do so, leaders have to weigh two conflicting needs:

  1. their need for acting with confidence, believing strongly in their vision, and having faith in themselves, their abilities.
  2. their need for assessing their limitations in order to avoid overconfidence or excessive optimism.

The complex balance between self-confidence and self-doubt is unnatural, contradictory but necessary, depends on each individual and each situation.

If there are too many blindspots, the leader can be overly confident and arrogant.

If there are few blindspots, the leader is somewhat realistic about the obstacles to face, is aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses.

Are there different levels of blindness?

There are three levels of blindness that a leader could experience:

  1. Lack of awareness level. This is the “most extreme form of a blindspot”. At this level, leaders are constantly surprised or blindsided by events.
  2. Faulty assessment level. At this level, leaders are in denial: they refuse to acknowledge risks, to analyze known weaknesses, and to understand the causes and consequences of their blindspots.
  3. Failure to act level. At this level, leaders know the risks, threats and weaknesses that lay ahead but fail to act on them for lack of skills and resolve. Those leaders are adept to the rule “when in doubt, do nothing” or rather remain in their comfort zones.

How to identify your leadership blindspots?

In order to identify your blindspots:

  1. Review your past and present mistakes. Mistakes are indicative of blindspots, areas of lack of self-awareness, and areas of faulty patterns of thinking and behavior. It is advised to identify the most significant mistakes, their causes, patterns of behavior and thinking associated to these mistakes and the actions to be taken on the behalf of the leader to prevent those mistakes from reoccurring.
  2. Consider honest and useful feedback from your trusted advisors.
  3. Gain additional insight by taking the blindspot assessment survey.

Then, question the relative importance of your blindspots in your career and its impacts on yourself, the organization to distinguish which blindspot requires your immediate attention.

What are the different types of leadership blindspots?

Robert Bruce Shaw has classified leadership blindspots in 20 categories:

  1. “Overestimating your strategic capabilities”
  2. “Valuing being right over being effective”
  3. “Failing to balance the what with the how”
  4. “Not seeing your impact on others”
  5. “Believing the rules don’t apply to you”
  6. “Thinking the present is the past”
  7. “Failing to focus on the vital few”
  8. “Taking for granted your team model”
  9. “Overrating the talent on your team”
  10. “Avoiding the tough conversations”
  11. “Trusting the wrong individuals”
  12. “Not developing real successors”
  13. “Failing to capture hearts and minds”
  14. “Losing touch with your shop floor”
  15. “Treating information and opinion as fact”
  16. “Misreading the political landscape”
  17. “Putting personal ambition before the company”
  18. “Clinging to the status quo”
  19. “Underestimating your competitors”
  20. “Being overly optimistic”

Which factors trigger blindspots?

Blindspots often go hand in hand with the leader’s strengths and reappear unexpectedly when the leader does what he or she does best.

There are few factors that lead to blindspots areas:

  1. Experience gaps“. The blindspot stems from a lack of experience or from a habit of using past experiences to extrapolate a present situation.
  2. Information overload” describes an inability to pay attention to everything that is happening when engaged in a complex and challenging task.
  3. Emotional bias” corresponds to an emotional involvement in a particular situation or outcome that clouds judgement.
  4. Cognitive dissonance” is a psychology term associated to a state in which leaders hold two conflicting views of their self-image. The “conflict is resolved through rationalizing one’s belief or actions in a manner that sustains one’s positive self-image” which reinforces the blindspot.
  5. “Misaligned incentives” are compensation systems that are “designed to focus attention and effort within an organization, with the result being that people focus more on some areas than on others”.
  6. Hierarchical distortion”. The information transmitted to hierarchy becomes distorted, false, incomplete because:
    • high-ranking leaders are sometimes detached from the lower levels of the organization.
    • subordinates tend to sugarcoat information by deference or by fear of retaliation.
    • high-ranking leaders pay less attention to less powerful people.
  7. Overconfidence“. Leaders overestimates their own capabilities, skills and knowledge.

How to overcome blindspots?

According to Robert Bruce Shaw, it is not possible to completely suppress blindspots but it is important to recognize them and find ways to work with them?

To handle blindspot:

  1. Make an assessment of the problem on your own, stay on contact with frontliners, customers, markets and high potential individuals.
  2. Invest in metrics, processes and data that challenge the leader’s beliefs and basic assumptions.
  3. Develop an ability to recognize, prioritize blindspot warning signs.
  4. Consider feedback from trusted advisors.
  5. “Leaders need to test their ideas and discuss emerging threats with a diverse team of individuals who respect each other’s experience and abilities but are also willing to push each other to reach the best outcomes on the truly critical issues”.

In conclusion, leaders are flawed individuals with strengths, weaknesses and blindspots that are to be acknowledged.

Blindspots often show up when the leader is using his or her strengths or reverts to their comfort zone, and cannot be completely resolved.

It is up to the leader to stay on the lookout for blindspots, to strike up a balance between self-confidence and self-doubt.

Review

In Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, Robert Bruce Shaw analyses leadership behaviors when it comes to blindspots and weaknesses.

He illustrates every single one of his thoughts on blindspots with great and renown leadership examples and concludes each example with an analysis and lessons to take away.

Furthermore, not only this book contains realistic and applicable examples, each paragraph of this book can be read on standalone.

In addition, Robert Bruce Shaw provides us with a tool —the blindspot assessment survey— for us to identify whether or not we possess blindspots and to what degree we have incubated them.

I recommend this book to employees who are failing to lead and to boost their careers.

It has come to my knowledge that because of my belief system, I am an adept of the rule “when in doubt, stand still” which has not bothered my career but has increased my serenity.

After taking the blindspot assessment test, I have received a low probability of blindspots as I am self-aware of my strengths and of my weaknesses.

Finally, Leadership Blindspots was intriguing to me because there are so many books about leadership strengths and developing them.

I equally appreciated the fact that he mentioned the need for transparency (better visibility of mistakes thanks to the media) which put leaders are under a lot of pressure, all while trying to overcome their blindspots.

Favorite quote(s)

People who are smart and self-assured are often very skillful at justifying their thinking and behavior—to the point of being in denial about their weaknesses and the threats they face. Their intelligence can work against them when they convince themselves, and often others, that they are right even when they are wrong.

Successful individuals who sometimes stumble often do so because they have no one who can protect them from themselves.

The best leaders develop a range of compensating mechanisms that fit their personalities and the company cultures in which they work. In many cases these leaders don’t fundamentally change the way they think, but instead develop warning systems that surface important weaknesses and threats.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Robert Bruce ShawDigiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2022

Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter by Robert Bruce Shaw

Great leadership emanates from an ability to make great decisions which comes from making bad decisions and learning from them. The sooner in your career that those bad decisions are made, the better…

Of course, you make fewer mistakes as you progress in your career and as you experience the outcomes of the mistakes, but you never stop making them. In addition, mistakes are more costly as you move up the ladder in a company and can potentially derail your career.

Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter by Robert Bruce Shaw #book #books #bookreview   #bookreviews #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #selfdevelopment https://journeytoleadershipblog.com

How to characterize leadership blindspots?

First of all, leadership blindspots  are often associated to leadership strengths. They appear whenever the leader is utilizing his or her strengths at work.

Second of all, these blindspots don’t disappear, even if you are fully aware of them.

Thirdly, blind spots are situational, adaptive and can be helpful. And finally, blindspots are able to impact other people and followers.

Advice for understanding and dealing with leadership blindspots?

Furthermore, blindspots come with a price and has to be recognized by the leader in order for him or her to find a balance. To do so, leaders have to weigh two conflicting needs:

  1. their need for acting with confidence, believing strongly in their vision, and having faith in themselves, their abilities.
  2. their need for assessing their limitations in order to avoid overconfidence or excessive optimism.

The complex balance between self-confidence and self-doubt is unnatural, contradictory but necessary, depends on each individual and each situation. If there are too many blindspots, the leader can be overly confident and arrogant. If there are too few, the leader is somewhat realistic about the obstacles to face, is aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses.

Are there different levels of blindness?

There are three levels of blindness that a leader could experience:

  1. Lack of awareness level. This is the “most extreme form of a blindspot”. At this level, leaders are constantly surprised or blindsided by events.
  2. Faulty assessment level. At this level, leaders are in denial: they refuse to acknowledge risks, to analyze known weaknesses, and to understand the causes and consequences of their blindspots.
  3. Failure to act level. At this level, leaders know the risks, threats and weaknesses that lay ahead but fail to act on them for lack of skills and resolve. Those leaders are adept to the rule “when in doubt, do nothing” or rather remain in their comfort zones.

How to identify your leadership blindspots? 

In order to identify your blindspots:

  1. Review your past and present mistakes. Mistakes are indicative of areas of lack of self-awareness and areas of faulty patterns of thinking and behavior. It is advised  to identify the most significant mistakes, their causes, patterns of behavior and thinking associated to these mistakes and the actions to be taken on the behalf of the leader to prevent those mistakes from reoccurring.
  2. Consider honest and useful feedback from your trusted advisors.
  3. Gain additional insight by taking the blindspot assessment survey.

Then, question the relative importance of your blindspots in your career and its impacts on yourself, the organization to  distinguish which blindspot requires your immediate attention.

What are the different types of leadership blindspots?

Robert Bruce Shaw has classified leadership blindspots in 20 categories:

  1. “Overestimating your strategic capabilities”
  2. “Valuing being right over being effective”
  3. “Failing to balance the what with the how”
  4. “Not seeing your impact on others”
  5. “Believing the rules don’t apply to you”
  6. “Thinking the present is the past”
  7. “Failing to focus on the vital few”
  8. “Taking for granted your team model”
  9. “Overrating the talent on your team”
  10. “Avoiding the tough conversations”
  11. “Trusting the wrong individuals”
  12. “Not developing real successors”
  13. “Failing to capture hearts and minds”
  14. “Losing touch with your shop floor”
  15. “Treating information and opinion as fact”
  16. “Misreading the political landscape”
  17. “Putting personal ambition before the company”
  18. “Clinging to the status quo”
  19. “Underestimating your competitors”
  20. “Being overly optimistic”

Which factors trigger blindspots?

Blindspots often go hand in hand with the leader’s strengths and reappear unexpectedly when the leader does what he or she does best.

There are few factors that lead to blindspots areas:

  1. Experience gaps“. The blindspot stems from a lack of experience or from a habit of using past experiences to extrapolate a present situation.
  2. Information overload” describes an inability to pay attention to everything that is happening when engaged in a complex and challenging task.
  3. Emotional bias” corresponds to an emotional involvement in a particular situation or outcome that clouds judgement.
  4. Cognitive dissonance” is a psychology term associated to a state in which leaders hold two conflicting views of their self-image. The “conflict is resolved through rationalizing one’s belief or actions in a manner that sustains one’s positive self-image” which reinforces the blindspot.
  5. “Misaligned incentives” are compensation systems that are “designed to focus attention and effort within an organization, with the result being that people focus more on some areas than on others”.
  6. Hierarchical distortion”. The information transmitted to hierarchy becomes distorted, false, incomplete because:
    • high-ranking leaders are sometimes detached from the lower levels of the organization.
    • subordinates tend to sugarcoat information by deference or by fear of retaliation.
    • high-ranking leaders pay less attention to less powerful people.
  7. Overconfidence“. Leaders overestimates their own capabilities, skills and knowledge.

How to overcome blindspots?

According to Robert Bruce Shaw, it is not possible to completely suppress blindspots but it is important to recognize them and find ways to work with them? To handle blindspot:

  1. Make an assessment of the problem on your own, stay on contact with frontliners, customers, markets and high potential individuals.
  2. Invest in metrics, processes and data that challenge the leader’s beliefs and basic assumptions.
  3. Develop an ability to recognize, prioritize blindspot warning signs.
  4. Consider feedback from trusted advisors.
  5. “Leaders need to test their ideas and discuss emerging threats with a diverse team of individuals who respect each other’s experience and abilities but are also willing to push each other to reach the best outcomes on the truly critical issues”.

In conclusion, leaders are flawed individuals with strengths, weaknesses and blindspots that are to be acknowledged. Blindspots often show up when the leader is using his or her strengths or reverts to their comfort zone, and cannot be completely resolved. It is up to the leader to stay on the lookout for blindspots, to strike up a balance between self-confidence and self-doubt.

Review

indexIn Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, Robert Bruce Shaw analyses leadership behaviors when it comes to blindspots and weaknesses.

He illustrates every single one of his thoughts on blindspots with great and renown leadership examples and concludes each example with an analysis and lessons to take away.

Furthermore, not only this book contains realistic and applicable examples, each paragraph of this book can be read on standalone. In addition, Robert Bruce Shaw provides us with a tool —the blindspot assessment survey— for us to identify whether or not we possess blindspots and to what degree we have incubated them.

I recommend this book to employees who are failing to lead and to boost their careers. It has come to my knowledge that because of my belief system, I am an adept of the rule “when in doubt, stand still” which has not bothered my career but has increased my serenity.

After taking the blindspot assessment test, I have received a low probability of blindspots as I am self-aware of my strengths and of my weaknesses.

In light of this issue, in Leadership Blindspots, Robert Bruce Shaw investigates the existence of leadership blindspot, an “unrecognized weakness or threat that has the potential to undermine a leader’s success” and that becomes evident in the way your team, organizations and markets are perceived.

Finally, Leadership Blindspots was intriguing to me because there are so many books about leadership strengths and developing them. I equally appreciated the fact that he mentioned the need for transparency (better visibility of mistakes thanks to the media) which put leaders are under a lot of pressure, all while trying to overcome their blindspots.

Favorite quote(s)

People who are smart and self-assured are often very skillful at justifying their thinking and behavior—to the point of being in denial about their weaknesses and the threats they face. Their intelligence can work against them when they convince themselves, and often others, that they are right even when they are wrong.
Successful individuals who sometimes stumble often do so because they have no one who can protect them from themselves.
The best leaders develop a range of compensating mechanisms that fit their personalities and the company cultures in which they work. In many cases these leaders don’t fundamentally change the way they think, but instead develop warning systems that surface important weaknesses and threats.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Robert Bruce Shaw

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Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter by Robert Bruce Shaw

Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter by Robert Bruce ShawAccording to Robert Bruce Shaw, in Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, great leadership emanates from an ability to make great decisions which comes from making bad decisions and learning from them. The sooner in your career that those bad decisions are made, the better.

Of course, you make fewer mistakes as you progress in your career and as you experience the outcomes of the mistakes, but you never stop making them. In addition, mistakes are more costly as you move up the ladder in a company and can potentially derail your career.

In light of this issue, in Leadership Blindspots, Robert Bruce Shaw investigates the existence of leadership blindspot, an “unrecognized weakness or threat that has the potential to undermine a leader’s success” and that becomes evident in the way your team, organizations and markets are perceived.

How to characterize leadership blindspots?

First of all, leadership blindspots  are often associated to leadership strengths. They appear whenever the leader is utilizing his or her strengths at work.

Second of all, blindspots don’t disappear, even if you are fully aware of them.

Thirdly, blindspots are situational, adaptive and can be helpful.

And finally, blindspots are able to impact other people and followers.

Advice for understanding and dealing with leadership blindspots?

Furthermore, blindspots come with a price and has to be recognized by the leader in order for him or her to find a balance.

To do so, leaders have to weigh two conflicting needs:

  1. their need for acting with confidence, believing strongly in their vision, and having faith in themselves, their abilities.
  2. their need for assessing their limitations in order to avoid overconfidence or excessive optimism.

The complex balance between self-confidence and self-doubt is unnatural, contradictory but necessary, depends on each individual and each situation.

If there are too many blindspots, the leader can be overly confident and arrogant. If there are too few blindspots, the leader is somewhat realistic about the obstacles to face, is aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses.

Are there different levels of blindness?

There are three levels of blindness that a leader could experience:

  1. Lack of awareness level. This is the “most extreme form of a blindspot”. At this level, leaders are constantly surprised or blindsided by events.
  2. Faulty assessment level. At this level, leaders are in denial: they refuse to acknowledge risks, to analyze known weaknesses, and to understand the causes and consequences of their blindspots.
  3. Failure to act level. At this level, leaders know the risks, threats and weaknesses that lay ahead but fail to act on them for lack of skills and resolve. Those leaders are adept to the rule “when in doubt, do nothing” or rather remain in their comfort zones.

How to identify your leadership blindspots? 

In order to identify your blindspots:

  1. Review your past and present mistakes. Mistakes are indicative of blindspots, areas of lack of self-awareness, and areas of faulty patterns of thinking and behavior. It is advised  to identify the most significant mistakes, their causes, patterns of behavior and thinking associated to these mistakes and the actions to be taken on the behalf of the leader to prevent those mistakes from reoccurring.
  2. Consider honest and useful feedback from your trusted advisors.
  3. Gain additional insight by taking the blindspot assessment survey.

Then, question the relative importance of your blindspots in your career and its impacts on yourself, the organization to  distinguish which blindspot requires your immediate attention.

What are the different types of leadership blindspots?

Robert Bruce Shaw has classified leadership blindspots in 20 categories:

  1. “Overestimating your strategic capabilities”
  2. “Valuing being right over being effective”
  3. “Failing to balance the what with the how”
  4. “Not seeing your impact on others”
  5. “Believing the rules don’t apply to you”
  6. “Thinking the present is the past”
  7. “Failing to focus on the vital few”
  8. “Taking for granted your team model”
  9. “Overrating the talent on your team”
  10. “Avoiding the tough conversations”
  11. “Trusting the wrong individuals”
  12. “Not developing real successors”
  13. “Failing to capture hearts and minds”
  14. “Losing touch with your shop floor”
  15. “Treating information and opinion as fact”
  16. “Misreading the political landscape”
  17. “Putting personal ambition before the company”
  18. “Clinging to the status quo”
  19. “Underestimating your competitors”
  20. “Being overly optimistic”

Which factors trigger blindspots?

Blindspots often go hand in hand with the leader’s strengths and reappear unexpectedly when the leader does what he or she does best.

There are few factors that lead to blindspots areas:

  1. Experience gaps“. The blindspot stems from a lack of experience or from a habit of using past experiences to extrapolate a present situation.
  2. Information overload” describes an inability to pay attention to everything that is happening when engaged in a complex and challenging task.
  3. Emotional bias” corresponds to an emotional involvement in a particular situation or outcome that clouds judgement.
  4. Cognitive dissonance” is a psychology term associated to a state in which leaders hold two conflicting views of their self-image. The “conflict is resolved through rationalizing one’s belief or actions in a manner that sustains one’s positive self-image” which reinforces the blindspot.
  5. “Misaligned incentives” are compensation systems that are “designed to focus attention and effort within an organization, with the result being that people focus more on some areas than on others”.
  6. Hierarchical distortion”. The information transmitted to hierarchy becomes distorted, false, incomplete because:
    • high-ranking leaders are sometimes detached from the lower levels of the organization.
    • subordinates tend to sugarcoat information by deference or by fear of retaliation.
    • high-ranking leaders pay less attention to less powerful people.
  7. Overconfidence“. Leaders overestimates their own capabilities, skills and knowledge.

How to overcome blindspots?

According to Robert Bruce Shaw, it is not possible to completely suppress blindspots but it is important to recognize them and find ways to work with them?

To handle blindspot:

  1. Make an assessment of the problem on your own, stay on contact with frontliners, customers, markets and high potential individuals.
  2. Invest in metrics, processes and data that challenge the leader’s beliefs and basic assumptions.
  3. Develop an ability to recognize, prioritize blindspot warning signs.
  4. Consider feedback from trusted advisors.
  5. “Leaders need to test their ideas and discuss emerging threats with a diverse team of individuals who respect each other’s experience and abilities but are also willing to push each other to reach the best outcomes on the truly critical issues”.

In conclusion, leaders are flawed individuals with strengths, weaknesses and blindspots that are to be acknowledged. Blindspots often show up when the leader is using his or her strengths or reverts to their comfort zone, and cannot be completely resolved.

It is up to the leader to stay on the lookout for blindspots, to strike up a balance between self-confidence and self-doubt.

Review


indexIn Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, Robert Bruce Shaw analyses leadership behaviors when it comes to blindspots and weaknesses. He illustrates every single one of his thoughts on blindspots with great and renown leadership examples and concludes each example with an analysis and lessons to take away. Furthermore, not only this book contains realistic and applicable examples, each paragraph of this book can be read on standalone.

In addition, Robert Bruce Shaw provides us with a tool —the blindspot assessment survey— for us to identify whether or not we possess blindspots and to what degree we have incubated them. I recommend this book to employees who are failing to lead and to boost their careers.

It has come to my knowledge that because of my belief system, I am an adept of the rule “when in doubt, stand still” which has not bothered my career but has increased my serenity. After taking the blindspot assessment test, I have received a low probability of blindspots as I am self-aware of my strengths and of my weaknesses.

Finally, Leadership Blindspots was intriguing to me because there are so many books about leadership strengths and developing them.

I equally appreciated the fact that he mentioned the need for transparency (better visibility of mistakes thanks to the media) which put leaders are under a lot of pressure, all while trying to overcome their blindspots.

Favorite quote(s)

People who are smart and self-assured are often very skillful at justifying their thinking and behavior—to the point of being in denial about their weaknesses and the threats they face. Their intelligence can work against them when they convince themselves, and often others, that they are right even when they are wrong.

Successful individuals who sometimes stumble often do so because they have no one who can protect them from themselves.

The best leaders develop a range of compensating mechanisms that fit their personalities and the company cultures in which they work. In many cases these leaders don’t fundamentally change the way they think, but instead develop warning systems that surface important weaknesses and threats.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Robert Bruce Shaw

Purchase

 

 

Subscribe to Journey To Leadership

 

23 Things Leaders Need To Stop Doing Right Now

The best leaders are authenticself-disciplined and self-aware.

They know their strengths, weaknesses and limitations. 

They are honest with themselves and realize when they have harbored behaviors that need to be changed.

Wondering what are the things that you need to stop doing immediately?

23 Things Leaders Need To Stop Doing Right Now

#1. Stop depending on people for your self worth

Depending on people for your self-worth is risky because the people who build you up can also break you down.

To find your self-worth, you must stop comparing yourself to others, accept your unique distinctions, discover your abilities, auto-evaluate your role and contributions at work.

#2. Stop trying to be the center of attention

Leaders who place themselves at the center of attention take credit for their employees work, want to appear bigger than they really are, overestimate their contribution.

#3. Stop trying to be liked by everybody

If everybody likes you, you are either a person pleaser, a doormat or delusional.

#4. Stop being overly emotions

Emotions give us insight into our subconscious.

They are valuable tool to understand ourselves but they need to be controlled in order to lead and make the best decisions.

#5. Stop encouraging aggressive office politics

Toxic leaders turn their workplace into the hunger games for their own environment.

Workers then become unproductive and pay more attention to the drama than results and quality of work.

#6. Stop creating unreachable goals

Unreachable goals put unnecessary pressure on your employees.

Not every employee knows how to handle their stress. They most likely will end up getting distracted, lashing out at others or underperforming.

#7. Stop over processing everything

Leaders create processes that overwhelm their employees and that take time.

Deconstructing some processes help employees get their job done faster.

#8. Stop scheduling meetings just to do meetings

We have all been on a job where we go through pointless and endless meetings.

We come out those meetings drained, confused and filled with useless information.

#9. Stop the lack of transparency

It’s OK to change opinions or come through with mew decisions.

The only thing, you have to speak the truth, to be transparent, share when and why your opinions and decisions have changed.

#10. Stop amplifying internal conflicts

Conflicts are inevitable in the workplace.

You work with people who were raised differently and who have different sets of values.

However, internal conflicts create distractions, drama and not results.

It is best to shut down internal conflicts and focus on the real work issues.

#11. Stop micromanaging your team

Micromanaging leaders need to stay in control at all times.

They believe that they get things done better on their own and have a hard time delegating.

They just cannot control everything.

#12. Stop spreading yourself too thin

As a leader, you want to know everything and be everywhere at once.

You engage in so many projects that you don’t have the time to breathe of enjoy them.

The reality is that you cannot participate in everything because you will end up underperforming.

If you want to mater everything, you will master none. Stop saying yes to everything.

#13. Stop passing judgement

By passing judgement, you place yourself above other people and you push them away.

#14. Stop trying to win

Some leaders want to compete with their employees and win at all cost.

They want to be better at everything.

The reality is that they force their employees to dull themselves down, to downplay their achievements and to avoid speaking up when things go wrong.

#15. Stop showing off your intellect

Some leaders feel the need to express how smart they are and how much they know, even if they don’t.

#16. Stop neglecting your relationships

You have to make time for your employees and those you value.

Taking care of your relationships create employee engagement and alignment.

#17. Stop obsessing over results

When you obsess over results you forget to:

  • observe the bigger picture,
  • nurture your core values and character,
  • pay attention to those who drive your business.

#18. Stop overworking yourself

Leaders are constantly under pressure over long periods of time.

To combat that pressure, some leaders micromanage, spread themselves thin, arrive early and stay late.

If they don’t nurture a healthy work life balance, they can easily break down and burn out.

#19. Stop quitting

Perseverance is key and giving up too soon will cause you to miss out on success.

Besides, quitting when things get tough will demoralize your team ad damage your self-esteem.

#20. Stop procrastinating

Procrastination is the action of putting off an important yet unpleasant task.

It is avoiding pain and pushing it back for later, it is neither starting nor completing a task.

However, a leader has no room for procrastination.

Leaders who procrastinate are ineffective, unproductive and unaware of their own abilities.

#21. Stop sandbagging your employees

Place your employees in positions where they can maximize their potential.

#22. Stop being negative

Negativity is contagious and hard to get rid of in the workplace.

Negative leaders don’t motivate their team and find problems to every solutions.

#23. Stop acting alone

Leaders make decisions alone but they need their team to bring their visions to life.

They don’t need to act alone if they surround themselves with the right people.

Last Words Of Advice!

As a leader, you are role models to their employees.

You have to constantly be careful of the behaviors that you demonstrate and that you want to perpetuate.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

 

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