Leadership Blind Spots and What To Do About Them / Edition 1

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This is a book for leaders who want to be better: those who are still challenging themselves to learn and perform at their peak. In particular it shows how leaders can:

  • Perform better in complex environments
  • Recognise and overcome their blind spots
  • Increase their learning agility – learning better and faster from experience
  • Avoid the traps of complacency and arrogance
  • Focus attention on what matters
  • Push themselves outside their comfort zones and take calculated risks
  • Adapt rapidly to change

Using practical and simple exercises informed by in-depth research, Karen Blakeley shows how to maximise leaders’ learning agility to ensure they reach their full potential. Any leader who implements the practices outlined in this book will immediately improve their ability to perform in today’s highly competitive global environment.

Leading a business in today’s environment is one of the most exciting, fulfilling, frustrating and challenging things you can do. It’s a fantastic privilege. It’s also something that I know I can, and must, do better…This book is an invaluable tool in that process.” Harvey Smyth, Managing Director, Pizza Express

This book starts where most conventional leadership practices fail to deliver...a clear understanding of the barriers to effective leadership in a fast changing and complex environment. A passionate case for the pursuit of leadership as a lifelong discipline of overcoming ones own blind spots and a practical guide on how to build your own leadership strength by actively expanding your comfort zone.” Ralf Schneider, PwC Partner, Head of Global Talent Management

Karen Blakeley clearly and engagingly offers new insights into learning. She does this by examining its opposite – blindspots. For coaches this book offers powerful intellectual and tools understanding what’s going on in our clients’ thinking, and, of course, in our own.” David Megginson. Professor of HRD, Sheffield Hallam University

“Reading this book will highlight how you can address and work on your own blindspots. I found the process assisted me and my team achieve a higher level of both personal and business performance. This book is an excellent aid for the 21st century manager and leader.” Philip Marshall, Managing Partner, PwC Germany

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470031933
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/4/2007
  • Series: J-B Foreign Imprint Series - EMEA Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

KAREN BLAKELEY is Assistant Director of the Centre for Leadership, Learning and Change at Cass Business School, City University and is also a director of Waverley Learning – a leadership development company. She recently completed her doctorate looking at how managers learned when their organisations went through change. 

Karen originally trained in finance and worked in the City for five years. She subsequently qualified as an organisational psychologist and has spent over 15 years helping individuals and organisations adapt to change.  Karen has appeared on TV, radio and in the press commenting on the psychology of high performance in demanding environments such dealing rooms in the City. She regularly presents at conferences and has had a number of articles published in the area of senior executive coaching. Karen is working with a number of top international companies developing new tools and techniques to promote ‘learning agility’ amongst their current and future leaders.

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Table of Contents



Part One: Leaders, Blind Spots and Learning – The Issues.

1 Leaders, Blind Spots and Learning.

2 A Model of Blind Spots, Learning and Change.

3 The Consequences of Leaders’ Blind Spots.

4 Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn.

Part Two How to Overcome Blind Spots and Accelerate Leaders’ Learning.

5 The First Practice – Direct Attention.

6 The Second Practice – Harness Emotions.

7 The Third Practice – Overcome Defensiveness.

8 The Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Practices - Deepen Sensemaking, Engage Creativity, and Reality Check.

9 The Seventh Practice – Change Behaviour.

10 The Eighth Practice – Nurture Integrity.

11 Equipping Leaders in Complex Times.

12 The Exercises.

References and Further Reading.


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