Lesson 5: Blindspots exist. You must get connected.
Many of us say: Get connected, utilize networking, talk with peers and join groups to gain insights. However, you cannot do all of it! If you try to be active on every social platform, you will not be present for essential parts of life. Being connected does not mean multiple devices.
I am not a perfect leader and have gained a great deal of knowledge over the past decades. I am still learning! I still have significant influences in my life I can seek out to guide me when needed. I do continue to reach out to meet new people and continue to expand my network.
Getting to know others personally is the best way. Getting likes and comments on posts on social media is engaging, but having honest conversations takes it to the next level. Deeper conversations help to find real solutions and understanding.
Maybe it makes sense to join a mastermind that Danny offers at Better Leaders Better Schools. He would love a chance to serve you and live out his mission “to connect, grow, and mentor every school leader who wants to level up.” Maybe you want to grab his book and begin an online group to share thoughts, have a Mastermind group in your area, or you may have other ideas. His take on professional development is as easy as ABC.
ABC’S of Powerful Professional Development
Learn more about the ABC’s from Daniel Bauer author of Mastermind, Unlocking the Talent in Every School Leader. https://www.betterleadersbetterschools.com
When you integrate authenticity, belonging, and challenge into a professional development program, anything is possible, including eliminating blind spots. Blind spots in leadership according to Robert Bruce Shaw, author of Leadership Blindspots, are unrecognized weaknesses or threats that can hinder a leader’s success. As leaders we may not know our weaknesses. Weaknesses aren’t likely to derail us from our goals. However, those we are unaware of are the dangerous ones.
- Going it alone (being afraid to ask for help)
- Being insensitive of your behavior on others (being unaware of how you show up)
- Having an “I know” attitude (valuing being right above everything else)
- Avoiding difficult conversations (conflict avoidance)
- Blaming others or circumstances (playing the victim; refusing responsibility)
- Treating commitments casually (not honoring the other person’s time, energy, resources)
- Conspiring against others (driven by a personal agenda)
- Not taking a stand (lack of commitment to a position)
- Tolerating “good enough” (low standards for performance)
Are any of the above Blindspots hitting you?
As leaders, we need to choose to identify blind spots, actively work on them and learn to overcome them. This helps everyone and impacts the experiences of everyone.
Evaluating behavior is challenging. When you are considering your own, it is more complicated. You need to be able to have different lenses looking at it. Keep these ideas in mind:
- Seeking help from another lens. Get another individual (Coach, Mentor, School Administrator Manager, Secretary) who can help you get a feedback assessment completed by those who work with you for a better perspective.
- Be prepared for feedback. Accept feedback constructively. Set aside emotions and egos. Look for common themes.
- Appreciate the help. It isn’t easy to receive feedback that identifies Blindspots, but it is also challenging to provide it. Individuals who give constructive feedback are trying to help. While you will always have some who are just trying to hurt you, most want you to be the best you can be.
- Routines create comfort. We are blind to the things around us when we become set in comfort routines. Having things done our way, how we engage others, how we react to issues, run our meetings, or support our employees become habbits. When they are not good ones, we need to make significant changes.
- Take action by priority. Give importance to these leadership behaviors! Become better at them and continue to review, reflect and renew! When you get better, so does everyone else!
I do not think we can ever eliminate all of our blind spots; we are human. It is part of human nature to have these happen. However, we can routinely focus our efforts to self-reflect and monitor ourselves to become exceptional leaders. If we do nothing, the Blindspots will grow in their strength, and our employees will lose faith in our abilities.
The leader in you is ready to always grow! I am always here to support! We need you! Prioritize your plan for the Hidden Blessings as you work to be better today than yesterday and to continue to grow.