You Can’t Fix What You Can’t See

Self-deception is like this. It blinds us to the true cause of the problems, and once we’re blind, all the “solutions” we can think of will make matters worse.

— Leadership and Self-Deception, The Arbinger Institute

Good managers share a critical skill: they actively seek help to discover their blind spots.

Case in point.  Maria’s business supports people with developmental disabilities.  Early on, when her company was taking off, she took great pride in the gains – and attributed them largely to her own relentless pursuit of service excellence. But growth eventually slowed, and the blame game erupted.  Maria criticized her “incompetent” managers; they labeled her a micromanager.

Maria had the good sense to seek the advice of a trusted peer.  She realized there was some truth to her manager’s claims. Okay, so I’m more of an operational thinker, less a strategist. Check. And I probably lack the skills to effectively motivate them. I admit that.  No problem. We can fix this.

Bottom line. You can’t fix what you can’t see. Blind spots always invite trouble. If you can’t honestly appraise yourself, your strengths and weaknesses your likes and dislikes, then find someone who can.