The Compulsive Leader’s Blind Spots

Compulsive-Leader-Blind-SpotWhen you learn to recognize the signs of a compulsive leader, you won’t have to look far to see it in much of today’s corporate culture. With a high value on accomplishment and productivity, there are many compulsive, driven leaders in executive positions. I know, because I see it all the time in the work I do coaching leaders and executives. Ultimately, these leaders need to address their blind spots.

Compulsiveness can be viewed as emphatic behavior driven by an intense internal focus. Thus, compulsive leaders are likely unaware of the personal difficulties they cause their people.

What I have found is that when employees’ feelings or needs go unaddressed, morale, engagement and unity suffer heavy blows. Consequently, work quality suffers, thereby fostering further unfortunate leadership responses. This downward spiral feeds upon itself.

Diminished team performance makes it harder for compulsive leaders to maintain their image of success, and the pressure affects everyone. Leaders with a one-track mind blame their employees for any problems, with no idea that the true source is much closer.

A coach can help steer compulsive leaders away from damaging habits and toward healthier ones by posing some introspective questions:

  • Can you get in touch with your feelings? Why not?
  • Do you believe your people have no feelings?
  • How do you think people respond when their feelings go unaddressed? What does the eventual outcome look like?
  • How is a person’s true value determined? Is it task related?
  • What would happen if you slowed down? What’s the likelihood of this result?
  • What’s so devastating about failure? Can anything be learned from it?
  • Are you ever concerned about burning out? How could burnout affect your leadership abilities?
  • How has striving for recognition helped you?
  • What signs would indicate your people don’t trust you? Would it bother you to miss these signs?

Working through these issues and reframing their mindset can help compulsive leaders recognize trouble spots and potential remedies.

What do you think? What do the answers to these questions tell you about potential blind spots? How would it impact your leadership? I’d love to hear from you. Give me a call, 704-827-4474. Or, you can reach me here and on LinkedIn.

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