Leadership puts leaders to series of tests from situation to situation. It presents reasoning to leaders and subjects leaders to reason. Yet leadership is not all about reasoning. It is also an art which will always demand mastery of emotional management, passion and inspiration (Thomas 2006). This makes leadership ever demanding. So I heard a failed leader screamed, Leadership is crazy! I curiously asked, why? How come a leader did nothing and still failed, he answers. Then I shared the concept of the blind spot with him. Leaders don’t see everything coming within a macro environment. When leaders gain mastery to know and feel that leadership naturally involves the interaction of the leader, the follower and the situation, they learn to appreciate that leadership is not about the leader! This is the main reason why leaders need to adopt varying skills in leading teams to become adaptable to the ever-changing situation. Now let’s get down to it. I don’t want to be the stoolpigeon, but the fact must be established that leaders don’t see every situation in a leadership space. Nonetheless, good leaders with great leadership skills see more through people.
“In all cases, delegate but don’t abdicate.”
As a matter of fact, Hughes et al (2015) mentioned that leadership is about working through people to get results by organizing, coordinating and directing teams to behave in an expected manner. To the point, leaders have blind spots but that shouldn’t lead to chronic incompetence. Blind spots in leadership are areas leaders cannot see or they are areas leaders cannot see clearly probably due to some physical obstruction or otherwise. For example, in managing geographically dispersed teams (GDTs), leaders must adopt relevant skills to get results. Activities of GDTs will always be at the leaders blind spot. Here, leaders must use delegation as a powerful tool, internal reporting systems, performance management reviews and must empower theory Y employees to manage others. Leaders must be reminded not to delegate to modern day politicians clad in corporate looks in the offices who will be fanning egos. Delegate to employees who will get the job done.
My advice. In all cases, delegate but don’t abdicate (Ahenkorah 2018). A leader’s thinking pattern will be affected if he has a lot of blind spots to manage. This is where leaders allow followers to cloud their decisions. If leaders fail to deliberately identify the blind spots and deal with them appropriately as they come, they do a lot of guess work and their directions and decisions are always flawed with speculations. Learn to use the blink. Shut and open the eyes. The only challenge in fixing the blind spot with the blink, is about timing. Some leaders shut when they have to open and they open when they have to shut. Since followers know that leaders have blind spots they become significant when leaders have many blind spots. This is what to do when followers intend to take advantage of your blind spots. Confront teams and be assertive about matters. Don’t be aggressive. Visit teams. Do road shows. Don’t enjoy sitting in the comfort of your offices.
Keep yourself awake. If you start experiencing signs of vision impairment, get your glasses on. A leader must see. Remember that the leader is always the vision bearer. Never lose that status whatsoever! Yes! Leaders would have blind spots. But if leaders use the right management tools in the right proportion, every area under management shall be subordinated to leadership!
For this is Leadership!
Author: Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah
Principal Trainer, Eagle Knowledge Institute || Author: Your Journey To The Top