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View Leadership Blind Spots

Leadership Blind Spots

The Leader’s Blind Side
Posted: 25 Feb 2008 05:13 AM CST

All leaders have blind sides. This week I’ll talk about a few common blind spots.

1. Underestimating The Consequences of Words
I used to be in a conversation with a staff member and be thinking out loud, “What if we…?”
In my mind, we were simply having a casual conversation. In the staff members mind, the leader of the church was issuing an order.

As a leader, our words carry far more weight than we realize.
•  Casual suggestions are often interpreted as direct orders.
•  Constructive feedback is often interpreted as harsh criticism.
•  Tossing out an opinion can be interpreted as “law.”

When we speak, we must be very careful and intentional. I’ve sent people into panic mode or running in wrong directions with sloppy communication too many times to count.

How have you seen this problem?

2. The Need To Win
Posted: 26 Feb 2008 05:15 AM CST

Most successful leaders are competitive. (For the record, I think God wires some people this way for Kingdom benefit.)

Some of us have an insatiable need to win. This can be a tremendous asset or a horribly destructive blind spot.
When I always need to win:

•  I make myself look good at others expense.
•  I pour too much time and money into ideas we should abort.
•  I might win causing others to lose.
•  I forget the value of teamwork or kingdom-mindedness.
•  I find it hard to admit fault.
•  I push people too hard.

I might see myself as a driven, hard working, faithful achiever. Others see me as dominant, self-centered, and arrogant.

Sometimes as a leader, losing is the first step to winning.

When are you too competitive?

3. Not Listening
Posted: 27 Feb 2008 05:17 AM CST

Successful leaders often become successful partly because they listen to wisdom from others. Once they achieve some level of success, people start asking them questions. Without realizing it, the leader can start to become the “expert” instead of the “student.”

Before long, when others offer advice, the successful leader might think:
•  They don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.
•  Who are they to tell me how to do this?
•  They are so out of touch with reality.

From my observation, the higher a leader rises, the more challenging it is to get trusted feedback.
Not only should we listen, but we should seek to mine information from those around us.

When have you been guilty of turning away your ear from good advice?

4. Isolation
Posted: 28 Feb 2008 05:19 AM CST

At our church, we do 360 reviews. (A 360 review is when all the key players around you have the chance to anonymously review your performance.)

I have taken pride in my ability to delegate well. Much of the success of our church has come from putting the right people in the right roles and trusting them.

This year, several people on my 360 told me that I was “out of touch” with what was going on in the church. They explained how much of what was happening was distinctly outside my values.

What I thought was a strength (and often is), had become a weakness. Without knowing it, I had unintentionally isolated myself from much of the organization.

The demands on our time become so great, we often don’t…
•  Take time to spend with key leaders.
•  Listen to trusted advisers.
•  Develop strategic ministry relationships.

The larger a church grows, the harder its leaders have to work not to become isolated.

What do you do to avoid isolation?

Category:Fruitfulness - Years 2-3
Category:Interconnectedness - Coaching & Counsel