Addressing Your Own Leadership Blind Spots

I’ve post­ed a sequence of three videos to YouTube on address­ing your own lead­er­ship blind spots. I felt using video might make this top­ic more direct and personal. 

Blind spots are tough. We all have them and they can be chal­leng­ing to root out — giv­en espe­cial­ly that we often pre­fer oth­ers do their work before we do our own.

I’ve bro­ken this mate­r­i­al into three chunks — the total watch time is just over 33 minutes. 

I have to say I found the process of mak­ing videos required new skills from me — ones I hope to devel­op and improve over time. Your feed­back would be help­ful to me, so please do leave com­ments either here or on the Youtube pages. 

As part of my chan­nel called Lead­er­ship Essen­tials, the first video defines what I mean by a lead­er­ship blind spot accord­ing to two vec­tors: the seri­ous­ness of the behav­ior and the resis­tance of a leader to address it. 

Part I: What is a Blind Spot?

The sec­ond video defines the skills need­ed to address blind spots and iden­ti­fies four kinds of feed­back we need in order to learn more about them and dis­cov­er alter­na­tive ways of think­ing and acting.

Part II: Need­ed Feedback

The third video elab­o­rates eight action prin­ci­ples that a leader can use to gath­er feed­back and devel­op strate­gies for per­son­al growth and change. 

Part III: Action Principles

You can down­load the charts and visu­al aids used in these videos at this link (pdf).

I hope you find the these videos help­ful to you! 

The mate­r­i­al, any­way, is very close to my heart.


  • Hi Dan. Real­ly enjoyed these. Great job, espe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing it’s your first time doing videos. 

    Some thoughts on some of the things you said in your videos.

    Do you think part of the prob­lem in that we don’t lis­ten to the feed­back of oth­ers is that we’re not even lis­ten­ing to our­selves, our deep­er Self, in the first place? And the rea­son we’re not lis­ten­ing to our Self is because we’re so focused on what we think oth­ers “con­ven­tion­al­ly” expect us to be (ie com­mand­ing, con­trol­ling) that it drowns out who we tru­ly want to be (this deep­er Self that wants to emerge)? If so, I find it iron­ic that we’re caught in this “game” of being what we think oth­ers expect us to be but in real­i­ty, they real­ly don’t like it when we be this way.

    Also with regards to blind spots, while they may start out as being unin­ten­tion­al, don’t they evolve to becom­ing inten­tion­al over time in that we are specif­i­cal­ly avoid­ing want­i­ng to see or hear about these truths. I’m remind­ed of the movie A Mon­ster Calls that per­fect­ly encap­su­lates this nar­ra­tive, as the boy in the movie doesn’t want to see and accept a deep­er truth about him­self that relates to his dying moth­er. He even says it will “kill him” if he says this truth out loud.

  • Hi Nollind! Thank you so much for watch­ing the videos and your kind com­ment about them. I appre­ci­ate your med­i­ta­tion on the rea­sons that we avoid aware­ness. As I men­tioned in the videos, to me part of the rea­son seems to be that what­ev­er is ‘in’ the blind spot is incon­sis­tent with who we feel we need to be, so that could be almost any­thing. If I think I am an hon­est per­son but in fact I lie, I may dis­count and excuse the lies I tell because “that’s not real­ly me.” I may even feel guilt about the lies in order to pro­tect myself from under­stand­ing, but the truth is I AM the kind of per­son who lies. I shield myself from that self-knowl­edge with the guilt — which if I got below to look would set up too much cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance and raise too many oth­er ques­tions about the super­struc­ture of my self-con­cept. Your point about not being able to lis­ten to our truest Self is cer­tain­ly rel­e­vant here, although I tend to believe that it’s less about what oth­ers think or expect of us, per se, than the expec­ta­tions that we have inher­it­ed and which have become part of our inner world, no longer need­ing much if any trig­ger­ing to nag at us. It may tru­ly be that this psy­chic ener­gy devel­ops a life of its own as a kind of elu­sive par­a­site or virus. Then it may be use­ful to ask our­selves, “Who gave us this dis-ease?” I haven’t seen A Mon­ster Calls but it could be that the dying moth­er passed it along with what­ev­er oth­er “truth” might be there. It sounds like exact­ly the self-seal­ing nature of per­sis­tent blind spots. In one form or anoth­er that par­a­sitic ener­gy con­vinces us we can’t get along with­out it.

    I’m glad you’re inter­est­ed in this top­ic, too, Nollind. It’s fun to bounce some ideas around! Thanks for stop­ping by and shar­ing your observations!


  • Matthew Saxton wrote:

    This is an inter­est­ing and help­ful series — the empha­sis on behav­iors and lis­ten­ing deeply to the affect of those behav­iors, and how exper­i­ment with alter­nate behav­iors pro­vides con­crete advice on explor­ing aspects of our­selves that most of us was choose to ignore. I was attract­ed to the idea of rec­og­niz­ing and address­ing blind spots as a form of lib­er­a­tion. In part III, I had to pause the video to start cre­at­ing a list for myself — what are my lead­er­ship ques­tions, and who can help me answer these.

  • Thank you so much, Matt! I very much appre­ci­ate your expe­ri­ence and the feed­back. It is of great help to know where you paused, as I think this means the videos are com­mu­ni­cat­ing effectively.

    Once again, many thanks for tak­ing a moment to com­ment on this series.

    Best to you!


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