What is true Leadership? The ability to hire your own blind spots.

Long before my life in HR, I worked at a well-known women’s clothing boutique and I encountered a leader that would challenge everything I held near and dear in all of the best ways.  She instigated one of the most significant moments in my professional career simply by encouraging her team to be themselves and let the in-fighting begin.  After years of replaying this event over in my head, I have come to appreciate the lessons I learned that day and carry it with me every day.

Let me set the stage for you:

It’s an early Tuesday morning, two hours before the store opened and three hours before my coffee would start to kick in.  We all sat down in a circle and started our normal glaring and side-eyeing one another while we discussed our KPI’s from the week before.  All at once, our store manager sought to clear the air and the bad attitudes.  With some force, she let us know that she had hired all of us as individuals for our unique strengths and without one another, this store would have fallen flat months ago.  She called us out for our strengths then encouraged each of us to take turns sharing one frustration about each person as well as a strength that we appreciated about one another.  As you can imagine, there was some serious hesitation and some very ruffled feathers (mine included.)  After about an hour, we had come to understand that none of us functioned as well alone as we did together.  We all needed to realize that we were the next person’s blind spot-especially our store manager.

Why was this was so important?  Every time since that day that I have gotten frustrated with the actions of my teammates, I take a deep breath and remember that we do things differently, and that makes us stronger as a team.  What does this have to do with leadership teams?  First, the person leading the charge needs to know their strengths and weaknesses.  Secondly, this leader needs to be able to hire and cultivate people who can make up for the deficit.  Lastly, this leader needs to be vigilant in keeping the team from ripping itself apart.

Where to go from here:

Talk to your squad, encourage individuality and conversations even if the conversations get uncomfortable and stay the course!  Most teams want to succeed and have the drive to make success real once the air has cleared.  Have your crew consider their strengths and weaknesses on an individual level as well and that insight will prove invaluable. This will help in establishing/maintaining a company culture.

Seed Staffing

235 East Main Street | Suite 104
Northville, MI 48167

(248) 719-1196