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Leadership Blindspots

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Leadership Blindspots

How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Effective leaders recognize that they don’t know it all, and part of what they don’t know is their own blindspots.

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To inspire their followers, leaders demonstrate confidence in their abilities and decisions while keeping an open mind, remaining willing to change their thinking and guarding against mental “blindspots” that lead them astray. This is challenging, because most people don’t know they even have blindspots. In this knowledgeable, useful manual, management consultant Robert Bruce Shaw explains leadership blindspots and their causes. He tells you how to find and manage your blindspots. The book’s appendix includes a useful “Leadership Blindspot Survey,” also available online. With thanks for that, plus Shaw’s helpful diagrams, charts, lists and feedback worksheet, getAbstract recommends his insightful diagnoses and practical prescriptions to leaders at every level.


A JCPenney for Your “Blindspot”

After a century in operation, the JCPenney department-store chain needed a jolt of new energy. The firm named a new CEO, Ron Johnson, former head of Apple’s profitable retail division.

Johnson revamped JCPenney. He shifted the firm from its traditional role as a trusted supplier of private-label, discounted merchandise to a purveyor of popular brands at low prices. Knowledgeable insiders warned Johnson about moving too far and too fast. They reminded him that he was a stranger to JCPenny’s retail market. Self-confident and certain of his own vision, Johnson ignored all of that advice.

Johnson’s plan failed quickly. Without JCPenney’s usual deep discounts, previously loyal customers took their shopping elsewhere. The company suffered a $1 billion loss during Johnson’s first year as CEO. As one business-school professor put it, JCPenney “had been run into a ditch when he took it over. But rather than getting it back on the road, he’s essentially set it on fire.”

Mid-range fashion retail, where Johnson had minimal experience, was a big switch from selling iPhones in trendy Apple stores. Though he was in unknown territory...

About the Author

Management consultant Robert Bruce Shaw specializes in leadership performance. His books include Trust in the Balance, Discontinuous Change and Organizational Architecture.

Comment on this summary

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    R. K. 8 months ago
    Great session and its very useful for every one
  • Avatar
    K. S. 1 year ago
    Nice session it is very useful and motivator
  • Avatar
    S. K. 5 years ago
    Great starting point, but survey does not give much insights on your real blind spots (only self-assessment where YOU think your blind spot AREAS are).