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The Logistics of Leadership: Beware of Your Blind Spots

Strengths-based leadership gets you heading in the right direction.  Blind spots will trip you up!
Strengths-based leadership gets you heading in the right direction. Blind spots will trip you up!

Organizations, now more than ever, are facing complex and unpredictable competitive landscape, one that is filled with new, and global, aggressive competitors.  The field of logistics is no exception.  The logistics of logistics is not only driven by data and systems, but also the ability to communicate this vision to teams and customers, in other words to lead.  What happens if your message is right but no one is listening?

One such example of poor leadership skills is the story of the Hungarian born physician Ignaz Semmelweis, the father of infection control procedures in hospitals.  Ultimately credited with changing how physicians and hospitals used sterilization to protect patients, in his day, his message was largely ignored and his peers shunned him. According to historical accounts, probably the dogmatism and arrogance of Semmelweis´ personality were partially responsible for his lack of success in communicating with his colleagues and the scientific community.  No matter how right he was, Dr. Semmelweis compromised his influence by his inability to use the “softer skills” of leadership.

Research shows that most leaders concentrate on goals, what they intend to accomplish; yet they forget to set priorities, or how they will accomplish those goals. Leaders must identify both their strengths and avoid their blind spots by examining the leadership role carefully and systematically. What are leadership blind spots?  Leadership blind spots are often manifested as repeated patterns of ineffective behavior or resolutions to change behavior that seem to fall short of the goal.   The nature of blind spots is that one perceives limited data or is using inadequate methods of judgment to address a problem. Everyone has blind spots.

This phenomenon is similar to the blind spots you have when driving a car or truck.  There are certain visual fields that are not readily apparent and you must mindfully check those areas for other cars or use a device to identify those vehicles. Similarly, it is difficult to correct for blind spots because you often lack the insight and resources to do so, that is the very nature of blind spots. Personal coaches can help by providing that additional insight, assistance with goal setting and accountability measures.

One such protocol for identifying leadership priorities while at the same time accounting for personal strengths and blind spots is the Intentional Leadership protocol. The following 3 pillars are used to assist leaders in becoming more intentional:

o The 12 Lenses of Leadership to identify the most important leadership roles in a given situation

o Jungian type to understand leadership strengths, blind spots, and strategies for development

o Emotional Intelligence for deeper awareness of competencies with the human side of leadership- motivating, communicating building trust and more…

We invite you to an upcoming workshop on the Intentional Leadership protocol being held at Cleary University, Howell Michigan on May 8, 2014 from 8am-12pm.  This all-inclusive workshop offers individual assessment prior to the workshop to help you get better acquainted with your strengths and potential blind spots. Individual follow-up coaching focuses on identifying your leadership priorities and developing an action checklist.  To learn more or to register, please CLICK HERE   

Hope to see you there!

Dr. Jane Kise

Ann C. Holm, MS, ACC

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