By Bob Williams
In business, personal or any team relationships, the ability to see our blind spots only arrives through certain methods. Listening to our colleagues, our team members and our family can help, and of course there are professionals who can use behavioral profiling to assess blind spots by identifying strengths with growing accuracy.
Imagine a young woman (Mrs. Lee), born in Thailand, schooled in South Korea then gaining higher education in the U.S. taking over a failing software company and turning it into a global organization now worth 1.8 billion dollars? IF there are any blind spots there, you might want them to stay blind!?! Her strategy for making sure to address any blind spots is, on the surface, simple!
1) Value your employees, and let them know how much you value them with every support mechanism available.
2) make sure your customers receive "over the top" service at all times so that your value in them is obvious.
3) Empower and enable your employees so that they are enthusiastic in their support and execution of 1 and 2!!!
Many entrepreneurs do this analysis without naming it "finding the blind spots”. Many understand intuitively that they NEED people who are GIFTED differently in order to succeed, and they are careful to address these areas!
Without profiling or professional help, finding each team members functional value can take a great deal of time. Hence, the use for the term "hunters", that way too many companies use liberally for anyone in sales, regardless of the type of sell or the customer needs. Labeling people has always been used to shorten the time it takes to understand them, and how they can contribute to the tribal success! It's an old process, full of errors that transfer only too easily to the stereotyping and name calling for social media of all kinds - even the original social media, talking!
As Dick and Jane have addressed in earlier columns by this writer, listening is a major factor in learning what employees value, where they see their skills making a contribution and sometimes more importantly, what are the obstacles that may be impeding their ability to shine like the star we all have internally, and gain the approval that we all crave...
There are still organizations out there who have such a narrowly defined avenue for success in sales that they believe if you vary from it, you will fail. Keep in mind that there can be no real support, that customers may be seen as merely bagged game rather than long term partners and "teamwork" is an alien term. IF you are the "hunter", IF you follow the prescribed method (which oddly enough, is counterintuitive for "hunters") and if you study hard and make sure that at least SOME folks buy stuff they will never need every day, THEN you will be successful. We will not examine here what this definition of "success" implies - just that it comes at a cost...
So, if you hire all the same kind of people to cover the various aspects of a successful business, you will engender many blind spots. You may have fun, you may make some money, but many managers and entrepreneurs learn the hard way that if you are unable to identify the areas of weakness and address them effectively with the appropriate skill sets, your success will have a shelf life.
You may be as gifted as Mrs. Lee, whose passion for people - her employees and her customers - made her a billionaire, but if you have intelligent reservations about your skills in this area, you should find help in behavioral profiling, team analysis and address your blind spots before someone else does!