While discussing our Next Leader Now program with our President at Solutions 21, Buddy Hobart, I was introduced to a new word that has since expanded my vocabulary. The word: Scotoma. Simply defined, the word scotoma refers to a blind spot. Something we all have, no doubt. Those things we do that we are unintentionally unaware of doing. Things that can sometimes tremendously impact not only ourselves, but those around us.
We are all guilty of falling victim to blind spots. How could we not be? After all, we are oblivious to them until someone brings them to our attention. And up until that point, our ignorance is acceptable. When we are made aware of our blind spots, however, it is our own individual responsibility to disallow the continuation of the action, behavior, or thought.
One of the best things about playing sports – especially at a high level – is the attention to detail in personal development, particularly when it comes to the exposure of blind spots. For example, when I played football, both at the collegiate and professional level, my team would watch film of practice and games and evaluate our performance to ensure we were fulfilling our duties properly and to the best of our ability. Each play, successful or unsuccessful, would be broken down from snap to whistle. Slow motion and rewinds were met with praise or criticism. And whether I had the game of my life or was a complete embarrassment, the afternoons I spent watching film were some of the most important – if not THE most important – of my career.
Herein lies the issue. In today’s workforce, when it comes to developing strategic thinkers who can – and want – to become leaders within an organization, we witness an inability or blind spot among executive teams to recognize that intentional, 21st-century development practices are necessary. Don’t believe me? Simply look at credible engagement surveys and turnover numbers and compare them to the billions of dollars that organization spend on traditional “leadership development.”
How much longer are we going to continue to turn a blind eye to this leadership scotoma that is costing us valuable time and resources in today’s business landscape?
We all know that good players make a team talented. Good leaders, however, make a team successful.