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Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter

Book Description

Good leaders become great by skillfully managing their own vulnerabilities

Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter is a comprehensive guide to recognizing and acting on the weak points that can impair effectiveness, diminish results, and harm a career. Written by a 30-year veteran of the leadership consulting industry and author of Trust in the Balance, the book contains examples, worksheets and surveys that illustrate the practical application of the advice presented. An online questionnaire helps readers discover their own leadership vulnerabilities, and the book provides a roadmap for creating a targeted plan to increase their awareness in the areas that truly matter.

The blindspot risk is that leaders fail to respond to weaknesses or threats due to a variety of factors including the complexity of their organizations, over-confidence in their own capabilities, and being surrounded by deferential subordinates. Leadership Blindspots provides a useful model for understanding how blindspots operate and why they persist, but at the same time suggests real, actionable steps to improvement. The book details a range of techniques that make blindspots stand out in sharp relief, so action can be taken before severe damage occurs - to a leader or his or her company. Topics include:

  • A framework to understand the threats posed by blindspots

  • The four most important types of blindspots - self, team, company and markets

  • Detailed case studies of blindspots in leaders across a variety of industries

  • A summary of the most common leadership blindspots

  • Corrective practices that help mitigate the risks that blindspots pose

  • The one characteristic great leaders share is the constant desire for self-improvement. Good can always be better. These weaknesses and threats are called blindspots because they are invisible to the individual but have the potential to wreak havoc on one's reputation and long-term success. Identifying and fixing crucial problems is the leader's job, and sometimes the most debilitating problems are with the leaders themselves. Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter is the first step toward owning and addressing one's vulnerabilities and, as a result, becoming a more effective leader.

    Table of Contents

    1. Cover Page
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright
    4. Dedication
    5. CONTENTS
    6. INTRODUCTION
    7. SECTION 1: WHY BLINDSPOTS MATTER
      1. CHAPTER 1: THE DANGERS AND REWARDS OF BEING BLIND
        1. STEVE JOBS: BLINDSPOTS ABOUT HIMSELF
        2. JAMIE DIMON: BLINDSPOTS ABOUT HIS TEAM AND COMPANY
        3. HENRY FORD: BLINDSPOTS ABOUT HIS MARKET
      2. CHAPTER 2: HOW TO SPOT BLINDSPOTS IN YOURSELF AND OTHERS
        1. THE BLINDSPOT MATRIX
        2. DEGREES OF BLINDNESS
        3. RESPONSES TO BLINDSPOTS
        4. IDENTIFYING YOUR OWN BLINDSPOTS
      3. CHAPTER 3: THE COMMON BLINDSPOTS HOLDING LEADERS BACK
        1. BLINDSPOTS THAT CAN DERAIL YOU
        2. BLINDSPOTS ABOUT YOURSELF
        3. BLINDSPOTS ABOUT YOUR TEAM
        4. BLINDSPOTS ABOUT YOUR COMPANY
        5. BLINDSPOTS ABOUT YOUR MARKETS
        6. OBTAINING FURTHER BLINDSPOT FEEDBACK
      4. CHAPTER 4: WHY BLINDSPOTS ARE AN EVER-PRESENT CHALLENGE
        1. THE TENACITY OF BLINDSPOTS
        2. WILLFUL BLINDNESS
        3. OVERCOMING BLINDSPOTS
    8. SECTION 2: HOW TO SURFACE AND OVERCOME BLINDSPOTS
      1. CHAPTER 5: SEE IT FOR YOURSELF
        1. AWARENESS OF CUSTOMERS AND MARKETS
        2. AWARENESS OF FRONTLINE COLLEAGUES
        3. AWARENESS OF HIGH POTENTIALS
        4. AWARENESS OF OUTSIDERS
        5. ACTIONS FOR INCREASING AWARENESS
      2. CHAPTER 6: SEEK OUT THAT WHICH DISCONFIRMS WHAT YOU BELIEVE
        1. ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS IN THE RIGHT WAY
        2. SURFACE DISCONFIRMING DATA ABOUT YOUR LEADERSHIP IMPACT
        3. SURFACE DISCONFIRMING DATA ABOUT YOUR TEAM
        4. SURFACE DISCONFIRMING DATA ABOUT YOUR ORGANIZATION
        5. SURFACE DISCONFIRMING DATA ABOUT YOUR MARKETS
        6. ACTIONS FOR SEEKING OUT DISCONFIRMING DATA
      3. CHAPTER 7: DEVELOP PERIPHERAL VISION AND SEE WHAT OTHERS MISS
        1. KNOW YOUR TEAM MEMBERS
        2. PAY ATTENTION TO BEHAVIORAL FLAGS
        3. CREATE OPENINGS FOR CONTRARIANS
        4. ESTABLISH A THREE-STRIKE RULE
        5. LISTEN DIFFERENTLY
        6. ACTIONS FOR DEVELOPING PERIPHERAL VISION
      4. CHAPTER 8: BUILD A NETWORK OF TRUSTED ADVISORS IN CRITICAL AREAS
        1. TARGET THE AREAS WHERE YOU NEED ADVICE
        2. MATCH THE TYPE OF ADVISOR TO YOUR NEED
        3. MAXIMIZE THE ADVICE YOU RECEIVE
        4. ACTIONS FOR BUILDING A NETWORK OF TRUSTED ADVISORS
      5. CHAPTER 9: PROMOTE PRODUCTIVE TEAM FIGHTS ON THE VITAL FEW PRIORITIES
        1. HIRE A GROUP OF SMART, DIVERSE, AND PASSIONATE PEOPLE
        2. FOCUS THE TEAM ON THE VITAL FEW PRIORITIES
        3. EMBRACE HIGH-LEVEL CONFLICTS, SHUN LOW-LEVEL CONFLICTS
        4. ESTABLISH GROUND RULES FOR HAVING PRODUCTIVE FIGHTS
        5. ENSURE ONE VOICE ON EXECUTION
        6. ACTIONS FOR PROMOTING PRODUCTIVE TEAM FIGHTS
      6. CONCLUSION
    9. SECTION 3: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
      1. RESOURCE A: BLINDSPOT Q&A
      2. RESOURCE B: LEADERSHIP BLINDSPOT SURVEY: SELF-ASSESSMENT
      3. RESOURCE C: COMMON LEADERSHIP BLINDSPOTS: FEEDBACK WORKSHEET
      4. RESOURCE D: READINGS ON LEADERSHIP BLINDSPOTS
    10. NOTES
    11. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    12. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    13. INDEX