It’s a tenacious little virus that can effect anyone from time to time, but it is especially harmful to leaders, or anyone who aspires to grow their influence. And this bug is highly resistant to treatment. In her new book, due to be released in the U.S. in March, author Margaret Heffernan calls it the Number 1 Leadership Problem.
Willful Blindness is when we see what we want to see and manage to ignore whatever makes us uncomfortable or challenges our most cherished beliefs.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=msturgell&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0802719988&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrIs it the reason why so many executives – people already in top positions – demand an executive coach as part of their benefits package. It is the reason why so many leaders experience persistent challenges with their teams, organizations, customers, and product and service lines.
Successful leaders learn from experience that even their highly refined ability to see what is needed is limited by their own assumptions and beliefs. The same is true for all of us, regardless of status or position.
Most people know themselves pretty well and are able to make decisions and set goals based on who they are. Well, at least most people do this much of the time – ah, there lies the rub. The problem is we all use our own assumptions and beliefs to make decisions. These are driven by motivations that are often outside our own realm of awareness. Sometimes our assumptions and beliefs are empowering. Sometimes they are limiting, faulty or out of date and we rarely take time or know how to truly explore and update them.
No one knows you or your business better than YOU. Yet sometimes your attitudes and beliefs limit the potential benefits from what you know. A good coach helps you see what you’re not already seeing. A good coach asks you questions that you cannot always answer right away, questions that require hard thinking, questions that test your assumptions, reveal possibilities and lead to right action that you might not otherwise have conceived. That’s why the most successful people work with coaches.