Executive Blind Spots

With fewer peers and more power, it is easy for influential executives to lose touch with those they lead. This brief offers insight into ways that organizations can ensure that executives remain tuned in to their work environment.

As executives climb the corporate ladder, they often gain power at the expense of self-awareness—a damaging trend, since this quality is directly linked with high performance.

A study by Hay Group’s McClelland Center finds that the higher an executive has risen in a company, the more likely they are to overrate themselves in areas such as self-awareness, self-management, and social skills.

With fewer peers and more power, it is easy for influential executives to lose touch with those they lead. This study of 1,214 individuals shows that there is also a significant gap between how these executives see themselves and how their peers, subordinates, and managers see them.

In this brief, we discuss the most common executive “blind spots,” and offer insight into ways that organizations can foster a culture of open feedback and dialogue, thus ensuring that executives remain tuned in to their work environment.

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