Written by Sonita Reese

“Mom, watch out!” 

I was backing out of our driveway and didn’t see our neighbor walking her dog toward our house. Luckily, she saw me as I stepped hard on the brakes  –  and disaster was averted. 

After my racing heartbeat slowed and my hands unclenched from the steering wheel, I was overwhelmed by this thought, “I’m beyond grateful my son alerted me to her presence and that she saw me even though I didn’t see her.” 

Because my neighbor had been in my blind spot, and though I had checked my left and right mirrors and backed out slowly, I still didn’t see her. 

Like that blind spot in my car mirror, we all have blind spots in our leadership. Here are three ways to shine a light on your blind spots so they don’t put you in a hazardous situation.  

Acknowledge that even the most self-aware leaders have them. We all have blind spots as well as strengths. One study shows that our blind spots tend to fall into two categories: connecting with others and driving performance – especially providing clarity on strategy. By acknowledging our blind spots, we check our ego at the door so it can’t hinder us from learning what they are.

Seek trusted partners and feedback to illuminate your blind spots. Trusted partners can be your team, mentors, business buddies, or personal relationships. My family has been a great help in identifying my blind spots. If you have the opportunity to participate in a 360-degree survey, take it. 

Look for patterns when things don’t turn out well, e.g., decisions that tend to go sideways or chronic communication challenges. Investigate the root cause of these issues and ask yourself what role you may have played in creating them. Doing this recently revealed that one of my blind spots is not thoroughly weighing the financial costs of big decisions. 

My near driveway disaster reminded me how dangerous blind spots can be. But acknowledging that we have them, looking for patterns that may reveal our blind spots, and seeking input from trusted partners can help us prevent them from sabotaging our leadership, relationships, and results.

Founded in 2004, Lead Star is the company behind New York Times best-sellers SPARKLeading from the Front, and Bet on You. Lead Star supports professionals to reach new levels of success through its innovative coaching programs.