A pit fall of any leader is turning a blind eye to things that can ultimately hurt you, your integrity, and your reputation.
- Ignoring poor performance of a staff member over and over.
- Allowing certain staff members to “get away” with coming in late, taking longer lunches, gossiping, surfing the internet while others on your staff work hard to do right and be right.
- Allowing some staff members to regularly share negative thoughts and feelings about their coworkers and then you begin to believe these things, too – and you haven’t personally invested in those other people.
- Allowing yourself to say what’s on your mind without filtering your thoughts and words first.
- Blowing up and getting angry in public.
- Playing favorites.
- Saying one thing, but doing another
Many leaders succumb to some of these things during their career. The successful ones aren’t blinded to these and other shortcomings. They know what they need to do in order to minimize and/or eliminate their blind eye:
- They hold their staff accountable to their performance. They have regular coaching sessions which keep results and behavior standards in the fore front.
- They hold everyone on their team to the same basic/core standards. If arriving to work on time is good for the team (and it is), it is good for ALL of the team.
- Do not allow a staff member talk with you negatively about another staff member. As the leader of your team, it is YOUR responsibility to monitor and deal with each of your team members. It is the responsibility of your team to focus on their own personal performance. If a staff member insists on bad talking another (I’m not talking about ignoring violations such as stealing, harassment, etc), try saying this next time: “I understand you have a personal issue with that person. But it is not appropriate for me to talk with you about that person’s performance. That’s not your job. That’s my job. Your job is to focus on your results and performance. So, we can talk about what you’re doing right now to move this department/company forward. But what I won’t allow is for you to talk to me about someone else’s performance. That’s not your job. So, how are you doing with….?” Become a broken record on this point. Your staff will quickly realize that their responsibility is on their own personal results.
- Seek out a trusted resource at your work place and allow them to ask you tough questions. “What am I being blind to?” And if they tell you, act on that! Seeking truth and then ignoring it will quickly ruin your integrity and reputation.
We all have blind spots. All of us. If you are fortunate enough to discover them, intentionally act to remove them. Will most people see this happening? Perhaps not. But you will move yourself towards becoming a respected, trusted leader who is recognized as authentic, approachable, and effective.
“Authenticity is the alignment of the head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently. This builds trust, and followers love leaders they can trust.”