Monday, September 15, 2014

How Do You Deal With Blind Spots?

Be humble to learn; be hungry for the insight, be skillful to frame the right questions, and behold to the metrics.
Senior business leaders have a significant responsibility to steer their organization in the right direction, however, what’re their management blind spots result in decreasing business productivity and lowering organizational maturity and how to deal with these blind spots more effectively?

Be cognizant of the unknown. As a senior leader, you have to be humble to realize there are many things you know you don’t know and perhaps even more which you don't know what you don't know. Until that happens, you will continue on the lives of blindness. All these together add up to quite a bit, and should really make you desire insight and squash arrogance.

Patient engagement to assist is best. As a senior manager, how often during a project update meeting, are you anticipating a good progress report only to hear the delay, problem, or issue? What is your first reaction? Are you ready to lay on the horn? If the project is failing, it could be because the company project management support system failed in some way, failed to capture the right data, failed to stay in touch with the team, failed to see warning signs. ...the senior manager "owns" the PM process, how it is done around here, so a project failure is as much the senior manager's fault as the team....thus, that senior manager should adopt the posture of "we are in this together", yet all too often it is the blame game...., patient engagement to assist is best.

Think, ask questions, and behold to metrics. Most teams operate with an incomplete and relatively small view of the world. Thus, too often in an effort to keep moving forward, they jump to the wrong conclusions, blast the horn or swerve around the obstacle only to find a poor pedestrian in the way. Since critical projects will be loaded with many unforeseen obstacles, as a senior leader, your response may be more significant than you may realize. Do you add fuel to the fire with an over-reaction or do you provide calm inquiry clearing the blind spots to help find out what is really happening? As the person that can see the bigger picture and is not living the day-to-day activities, the team needs you! 

Fast learning and self-control. Continue to see the importance of dealing with blind spots by learning how to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Your signal light behavior illustrates the value of maintaining self-control when you face hardships in business or your personal life. The reactionary executives are impatient and get easily angered, lose trust, and respect from their peers and their employees which sabotage personal growth. If you feel like you have lost the virtues of trust and respect, go now and humble yourself. Be ready to deal with another 'blindspot' opportunity -resolving the inevitable challenges teams will face. Patience. Ask questions. Wait to see if things play out. Apply urgency after testing.

You have to have trusted partners who you allow being your mirrors. They mirror back to you the things they see. Then you have to have intentional times when receiving messages is highly likely to occur.  Finally, you need to listen, accept, and act on the blind spot, whatever it is and check the "mirrors" that you appreciate the huge favor and gift they have provided you. If you shoot the messenger, you won't get any feedback again from that source. Best to honor others to the point you allow them to speak to you.

 The blind spots, either strategic one or operational one, are perhaps inevitable, the point is how shall business leaders or managers learn to deal with them seamlessly; it is the attitude plus aptitude, be humble to learn; be hungry for the insight and be skillful to frame the right questions and behold to the metrics.


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