- The world is flat. If you sail too far, your ship will fall off the edge.
- Cocaine cough drops are good medicine, especially for children.
- Inhaling tobacco smoke poses no danger to your health.
- Detroit automakers have nothing to fear from the surge of Japanese cars.
- IBM’s market position could never be threatened by an upstart company started in somebody’s garage.
With the benefit of hindsight, these statements seem silly if not downright stupid. But there was a time when smart people actually believed them to be true. Why? Because they had blind spots.
Blind spots are common. Some of them are the literal kind that could get us killed on the highway. Some are relatively benign, like failure to see the good in a team that’s playing against our hometown favorite. Other blind spots are of a societal nature and can be harmful, like false assumptions that produce prejudice and bigotry.
Somewhere in all this faulty thinking are leadership blind spots.
These are beliefs and experiences that block out more enlightened views of how to lead people most effectively.
We’ve all seen the findings on employee engagement. They’re not pretty. Many people do not feel psychologically attached to their work. The annual cost of disengagement in the U.S. alone is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.