What’s in your blind spot? Are you getting the feedback you need to be successful? Are you frustrated with your career stalling? What helps leaders get promoted and deliver higher results was candid and direct feedback about their leadership from bosses, peers and employees. This feedback was channeled into effective development programs with specific actions to overcome their blind spots, thus leading them to promotions and career success.
For leaders at the top of any organization, feedback is a rarity. Executives seldom get feedback about their leadership style, annoying behaviors, personality quirks, or other actions that make it challenging for them and their team members to be successful. While debriefing a leader I was coaching, he expressed that what he most liked about the coaching process was receiving unbiased and direct feedback. After he received feedback on his leadership behavior and style, he was able to address the blind spots identified and make successful leadership improvements in just 3 months.
Current corporate news are full of stories about CEOs who are terminated or resign due in part to performance issues, errors in judgment and other potential blind spots. The costs of these high-profile departures to shareholders have been documented to be tens of millions of dollars. Mark Hurd, former HP CEO in 2011, and Brian Dunn, former Best Buy CEO in 2012, were terminated due to poor judgment about their personal behaviors. Another example of an ex-CEO with a blind spot is Jeff Kindler, who was let go from Pfizer after a mutiny of senior leaders. Jeff’s leadership issues (bullying, intimidation, etc.) seemed to go on for years without any required change.
When I read these career epitaphs, I always wonder if they were getting unbiased and objective feedback about their leadership issues and blind spots. My guess is nobody had the courage to confront them and as a result, everybody ends up suffering. Learn from these public failures and ask your peers, team members and bosses for feedback on how you can improve as a leader.