Leadership: The cost of your blind spots

By SOCH Business Mentors LLP Posted February 20, 2024 in Leadership

Leadership: The cost of your blind spots

When newcomers in London inquire about obtaining a car license and its associated costs, the responses often leave them in bewildered silence or even provoke frustration. 

Back in 2002, as I was preparing to apply for a UK driving license – which is now 22 years ago – I discovered that acquiring a license in the UK could require around 12 months of commitment and easily exceed £2000 when factoring in driving lessons.

Initially, I found this daunting, but with no alternative, I opted for the journey. The crucial lesson I gained was a stark realisation of blindspots, which contribute to over 90% of accidents, leading to the tragic loss of loved ones or severe injuries.

The high value lesson that I learned was the real practical existence of blindspots that causes more than 90% accidents making families lose their loved ones.

What is a blindspot in world of driving? 

In the world of driving, a blindspot is an area that is not visible to the driver when making a turn or changing lanes. Despite checking the side mirrors, there exists an unavoidable and unseen spot where objects like bicycles, motorcycles, cars, or even large trucks can be entirely hidden from view. 

In the UK, drivers are extensively trained to always turn their heads over their shoulders as a final check before making a turn. This essential practice ensures safety by complementing the use of side mirrors.  

By changing this habit, drivers can prevent accidents, such as overlooking someone, like Lucy from the neighbourhood, riding a bike in their blindspot.  

The rigorous £2000 spent on obtaining a license reflects the UK’s serious stance on addressing blindspots while driving.  

They make sure that people before securing learning license get subconsciously habituated to look over the shoulders to mitigate threat of blindspot.  

Now why is it important to know about blind-spots as a leader or owner? And how does it come in the way of achieving business growth or goals? 

Blind spots occur when owner or leader think that they already know the correct answer or the best course of action. And, they are therefore unwilling to spend any additional time or resources to understand their blind spots which exposes them to unseen threats.

Common blind spots that I have seen and worked upon with top leaders/owners and base-level leaders/owners equally, are listed as follows: 

  1. Over-estimating their own ability. 
  2. Clinging to the status quo. 
  3. Avoiding the tough conversations
  4. Believing the rules don’t apply to you. 
  5. Come what may I am ready to address any challenge. 
  6. I have all. 
  7. I know enough. 
  8. Not everyone takes help for achieving their goals so I will be just fine. 
  9. History says that grit and clean heart is enough to make us win. 
..and many more depending on even what culture, parenting, and education the leader received

In business, all risks of creating newer reality majorly come in the form of blind spots.  

These high risk blind-spots usually begin with unclear understanding of four major pillars: Dreams, Vision, Strategy, and Plan.  

If your actions aligns with your understanding of these pillars then significant ground gets prepared to begin addressing the blind spots with ease.

Here are these pillars described in succinct clarity necessary for you to understand if you want to prosper with manageable risks from blind spots: 

  • Dream – This gives overall sense of mission. The one key blind spot here is – it is a calling and everyone I trust and believe in will equally commit to want it! 
  • Vision  – This gives clear sense of direction (a stunningly clear boundary within which focus exists to turn the mission in tangible achievable reality). 
  • The sense of direction comes in the form of what mustn’t, what must and when mustn’t, when must to achieve that parallels manifestation of dream. The major blind spot is vision is a picture of the future. 
  • Strategy gives clear choices of how to accomplish vision. The major blind spot here is – I know what needs be done let’s jump to detail planning exercise instead of creating a business strategy.
  • Plan gives execution of choices the strategy lays in a way that creates highest value of bearer and beneficiary both, taking in consideration all plausible risks and implementation blind-spots.

It is seen that a leader who lacks vision can be seen as indecisive, ineffective, and uninspiring. Without a clear sense of direction, they may struggle to gain the support and loyalty of their team and stakeholders. This can lead to poor performance, low success benchmarks, and ultimately, failure. 

One such commonly observed blind spot is: 

Most leaders get into the trap of stopping at only inspiring people with their dream. This is not enough to ensure that people will connect and commit with the emotions necessary for translating that dream into reality.

For this to happen, it is necessary that the communication blends logical, creative, and emotional mind together so that wholesome buy-in comes for bringing organisational commitment to accomplish the dream. 

Without communication of all kinds, any vision fails and dreams remain on the wall and that too – for not too long.  

Companies remaining at low rate of growth end up in a painful position. This happens when you let fear and doubt guide your decisions, your actions, and your work. When left unchecked, these fears and doubts create blind spots that can derail your path, your relationships, and damage your opportunity to act on your calling and make the difference that you were born for. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

As someone who wants to bring change, you will always be your own loudest critic.  But there comes a time when that narrative to ourselves must change for all of us. 

A time when we’ve had enough of running from or apologizing for what we want. 

A time where we learn to turn frustration into high-power fuel. 

A time where we learn to make our fear of failure or judgment a tailwind instead of a headwind. 

This change of narrative comes from the desire to make things better. The desire is all needed to rescue from excuses that have caught leaders for decades in compromises and tolerating something that they utterly don’t deserve.  

To find this narrative for yourself, you must first know and understand what a leadership blindspot is, and how should you deal with yours. This will require experts who are willing to commit to your dream and your vision. You need to maintain the state of faith working daily closely with them to help you grow towards getting boundless in no time. 

Finally, please note and think through that blindspot are things that impede our capacity to see things for what they are and what they could be. 

Blindspots cause us to overcomplicate, to lose focus when we need it most, to doubt ourselves and whisper that we might not be on the right path. Blindspots tell us that neither our part nor our art matters and that whatever we are pursuing can wait for tomorrow. 

It’s a form of unconscious resistance that keeps us from solving problems and creating more value. 

The catch is that identifying your blindspots can’t be done alone. 

It takes systematic approach, it takes patience, superior field level distinguished expertise and love and takes a community of people you trust and it takes commitment to a method and process that is tried and true. This will increase chances of result so much more and much faster than you imagine.

In business, at levels of sales, branding, marketing, and technologies even, there are blind spots that companies just become prey to and waste precious time and sometimes large investments and with it, hopes too. 

Learn to be as early adopter to get solid support of experts who can help you identify and resolve your blindspots. 

Your blindspots can cost you everything – your company, your progress, your happiness and in family businesses, it can cost you the prosperity of next 500 years even.