This is Leadership: Blind spots


‘Delegate. Don’t abdicate’

Leadership puts leaders to series of erratic tests from situation to situation. It presents reasoning to leaders and subject leaders to reason on the go. Yet leadership is not all about reasoning. It is also an art which will always demand mastery of emotional management and intelligence, 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 wrong and still failed, he answers. Then I shared the concept of the blind spot with him. Leaders don’t see everything coming. 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 stool pigeon, but the fact must be established that leaders don’t see every situation in the leadership space. Good leaders with great leadership skills see more through people.

As a matter of fact, Hughes et al (2015) mention that leadership is about working through people to get results by organising, 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 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 mixed approaches as delegation, internal reporting systems, technology, performance management reviews and team empowerment as powerful tools. 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. Delegate. Don’t abdicate (Ahenkorah 2018).

A leader’s thinking pattern is affected if he has a lot of blind spots to manage. If leaders fail to deliberately identify blind spots, so to deal with them appropriately as they come, they will do a lot of guess work and their directions and decisions will be flawed with speculations. Learn to use the blink. Learn to open and shut 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 others open when they have to shut. If followers intend to take advantage of your blind spots, confront the team and be assertive about matters. Don’t be aggressive. Visit and do road shows if teams are geographically dispersed. 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. If leaders use the right management tools in the right proportion, every area under management shall be subordinated to leadership planning, management, organisation and control. Leaders must learn to be continuously abreast of current trends while building capacities to remain relevant at all times.

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