Is this your leadership? How blind spots plague even the best leaders

For those of us who lead, traits like self-awareness and self-control should be a natural part of our leadership style. But we might not know ourselves as well as we think we do – we might have blind spots that are plaguing our leadership and we don’t even know it.

Imagine someone in a coaching session, asked to describe themselves – they give a list of positive traits: hard working, caring for others, good at making the right decisions, with a passion for excellence, brilliant at praising others and doing great work.

Now they are asked the question: “What do you think your work colleagues would say about you?”

“About the same,” they reply more often than not.

They are sometimes shocked to learn that their peers and colleagues have quite different perceptions of their leadership.

What they see as hard working, others see as meaning there is no one good enough in the team to delegate to and they alone are the only one who gets the job done, right.

What they see as caring for others, others see as having favourites and an unfortunate inattention to boundaries, e.g. not understanding situations well enough before giving instructions on what people should do next.

What they consider as brilliant at praising others might come across as insincere and patronising.

Sometimes we have a blind spot when it comes to ourselves.


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Imposter Syndrome

And this blindness to our own character leads to less than effective decision-making choices and conclusions which, of course, then impacts on the culture, team spirit and results in the business!

In a good few cases, empathetic questioning about beliefs and self-esteem opened up the fact that, on a deep, subconscious level, many leaders don’t feel worthy of their positions (Imposter Syndrome).

So, even though on a conscious level they believed they were acting positively, their subconscious insecurity was leading them in ways that kept them from properly engaging with their team. Their subconscious mind was driving all their actions, and everyone could see it except them. Once identified, the positive transformation that was required was successfully navigated with our help – and performance, results and team spirit soared. Big promotions are usually the reward!

Sometimes we have to re-think what we think we know about ourselves and acknowledge the possibility that we don’t know ourselves as well as we think we do

Overcome resistance

Most of us think we are OK, even when our encounters and relationships give us evidence to the contrary. Our conscious mind selects, evaluates, and interprets information that confirms what we wish to believe.

To really know ourselves, we have to see ourselves through the eyes of others and make the necessary adjustments and improvements. That’s why our 360º programmes are so popular and effective.

We have to be willing to open up to the things that we successfully hide from ourselves and overcome the resistance to remain the same.

Just as we lead others with heart, we have to observe ourselves and the reactions that others have to us not with the heart but the head:

  • Listen to the feedback you get from others
  • Ask yourself courageous questions
  • Observe the ways your subconscious mind sabotages your own self-awareness
  • And, most importantly, don’t assume that you are immune from the influence of your own inner demons (after all, we all have them!)


Our clients tell us, before attending our inspiring leadership workshops and 360º feedback, they thought they knew themselves and were OK leaders and then, once shown how to apply and master some new and highly effective tools and techniques, the improvements they were able to make were spellbinding.

Please contact us now to find out how you turn your managers / or subject experts into highly Effective Leaders and avoid those blind spots!

Click here to view the latest case study around leadership and the results we, at Sewells, can help you achieve.
“I cannot overestimate what you’ve done to help inspire so many of our leaders and members of my team to not only fill my ambition but also the company as a whole” PH, Automotive Retail Group

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