Identifying and fixing crucial problems is the job of leadership, but sometimes the most debilitating problems are with the leaders themselves. You better check your blind spots
I learned a valuable lesson recently. I lost a person I hand-picked to be my successor. I’m not getting any younger, and I strongly believe in the adage, “always hire your replacement,” when looking for new talent. Steve Jobs probably said it best, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so that they can tell us what to do.”
Kraig Kern, CPSM
So over the course of a year and a half, I believed I was mentoring, encouraging, recognizing, and inspiring my new, young marketing specialist. I gave her challenging but creative projects to work on, provided feedback constructively, patiently tolerated her ever-changing work-from-home schedule, offered a ton of variety in her week, issued multiple bonuses, and ultimately thought she loved what she was doing. Little did I know that frustration was percolating right below the surface. My blind spots created a disengaged employee, and it was already too late when I started to recognize them.
There are many kinds of blind spots, such as those that create a moral dilemma and force one to look the other way when something is wrong. But I’m referring to the leadership variety – the kind where you lack self-awareness. In business, a blind spot is easy to miss when the only thing those in management worry about is the bottom line. When sales slip or the economy collapses, we certainly pay attention. But what about when stress, anger, or sadness arise in our employees? Do we even know what happened? Do we write it off as moodiness?
See KRAIG KERN, page 4
THE ZWEIG LETTER FEBRUARY 27, 2023, ISSUE 1478
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