In all of my work with executives, I have found the Achilles heel of these highly intelligent, very talented leaders to be an inability to fully assess their own leadership effectiveness. Whether it be due to their own biases in evaluating their performance, the overall vacuum of feedback that tends to exist at higher levels of the organization, or a difficulty in noticing or responding to the feedback that others are providing, these leaders are often flying blind when it comes to assessing where they really stand. That’s Ego Trap #1 and the first pitfall explored in this book because it represents such a pervasive and fundamental challenge for executives and business owners.
To help you eliminate this blind spot, I will provide the tools for understanding how to side-step this ego trap in this chapter. These tools will help you generate a roadmap on how to ratchet up your leadership performance, through the simple gathering of feedback. By developing this means of regularly collecting, interpreting, and responding to feedback, you can become more self-aware, tuned into your team, and effective in your role as company leader, motivator, and visionary. Gone will be that murky sense of “What don’t I know?”—replaced with a clear understanding of how your people see you and what kind of a leader you truly are. It’s not about inviting judgment or collecting accolades; it’s about creating a crystal understanding of your strengths and weaknesses as a leader, the ultimate secret weapon in the leadership game.