I’ve spoken to plenty of people who seem to think they are getting mastery of leadership, only to realise the hard way that they are simply managing a limited number of the skills a little better. Many good leaders become quite effective in certain elements of a role, but in other areas, have clear blind spots and just don’t see what others do. Blind spots are insidious, and also potentially therefore damaging to others.
Sometimes blind spots represent dysfunction in the leader who tries to compensate for past hurt or fails to overcome a weakness. Nevertheless, we all have blind spots. None of us is perfect. Learning to ‘walk with a limp’ is sometimes a necessary part of life, as is walking with others who limp. This can be frustrating but lending our own skills and strengths to compensate for the lack in others, even leaders, can flow from genuine humility to give in a way where you are also then able to receive.
We become that much better ourselves in environments where we don’t critically and judgmentally expect more of others as much as seeking to better them and to support them. The reciprocal advantage allows us to shine brighter as we shine together and this is true of work-based teams, sports teams and social teams as much as it is in families where (hopefully) the give and take plays out a little more naturally.
Being blind to our own faults needs the disclosure of others which tends to come through trusting relationships. Fostering such openness and connection needs a willingness to be friendly and caring so that others feel genuinely able to be drawn out. Investing ourselves into relationships sounds costly, but the expense of not doing so may mean more blind spot pain ahead!