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* 1. Blind Spot #1: Not being in recruiting mode.

The best companies are always on the lookout for the best people. Give yourself a 1 if you are in recruiting mode only when there is a staffing emergency; a 10 if you are always in recruiting mode; or another score if you are somewhere in the middle.

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* 2. Blind Spot #2: Not establishing a process for hiring.

Following a "gut feeling" is not enough. You need a clear, quantifiable hiring process and everyone who hires employee's needs to follow it. Give yourself a 1 if you have no documented hiring process; a 10 if you have a detailed written hiring process that everyone with hiring authority follows; or another score if you are somewhere in the middle.

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* 3. Blind Spot #3: Not tying corporate goals to personal goals.

This needs to happen at an individual employee level, which means managers must gain a deep understanding of the personal aspirations of those who report to them. Give yourself a 1 if you have never had a discussion with employees about their most important personal aspirations; a 10 if you have had this discussion with everyone who reports to you and then connected those personal aspirations to specific workplace behavioral goals; or another score if you are somewhere in the middle.

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* 4. Blind Spot #4: Not creating and sustaining a culture of accountability.

Creating a culture of accountability from the top down requires that leaders show vulnerability. The leader's personal example is the biggest determinant of success in this area. Give yourself a 1 if you have never acknowledged a personal skill gap or oversight to a subordinate; a 10 if you regularly establish specific accountabilities to subordinates and apologize authentically whenever there is a breakdown that prevents you from fulfilling that accountability; or another score if you are somewhere in the middle.

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* 5. Blind Spot #5: Creating learned helplessness.

Leaders, and everyone else, fall prey to dysfunctional communication patterns that undermine a sense of personal responsibility. Give yourself a 1 if you often find yourself taking on tasks because no one else is capable of "doing it right" or doing it on time; a 10 if that seldom or never occurs and you spend 90% of your time working on the business, rather than in it; or another score if you are somewhere in the middle.

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* 6. Blind Spot #6: Not having a common organizational language and approach.

Sometimes people and teams work at cross purposes, without a common process or a common vocabulary. If you asked all your team members to document the most important processes they follow, would the answers each individual employee gave for a given process match up? Give yourself a 1 if you think the answer is "definitely not'; a 10 if you know for certain the answer is "Yes"; or another score if your organization is somewhere if the middle.

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* 7. Blind Spot #7: Not capturing best practices.

Document what your top performers do and build their best practices into the onboarding and performance review processes. Give yourself a 1 if you have never done this; a 10 if you do it consistently; or another score if your organization is somewhere if the middle.

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* 8. Blind Spot #8: Not creating a good onboarding experience.

At some companies, new employees are left to figure nearly everything out on their own, and leaders make excuses for that decision- like telling themselves that they operate in a "self-starter" culture, or that they only hire seasoned veterans. Give yourself a 1 if you have no formal onboarding process for new hires; a 10 if you have such a process, apply it to all new hires, and use it to ensure that new employees know exactly when to be up-to-speed on each and every aspect of the new job; or another score if your organization is somewhere in the middle.

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* 9. Blind Spot #9: Not knowing how to coach.

Contrary to popular belief, coaching is not "telling them what to do." It's supporting employees in a one-on-one setting and asking them questions that enable them to take personal responsibility for their own personal and professional development. Coaching is both an art and a science. Give yourself a 1 if this definition of coaching is new to you or does not reflect what your managers are currently doing; a 10 if effective, regular coaching sessions are an integral part of your employee development program; or another score if your organization is somewhere in the middle.

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* 10. Blind Spot #10: Not training the management team.

Most managers do not receive basic management training or reinforcement; all too often, they are promoted because they achieved a certain level of success in a non-management-related position, and they are expected to deliver the same level of success as a manger. Give yourself a 1 if there has never been any formal management training and reinforcement program at your organization; a 10 if every person with management or leadership responsibility (including yourself) received ongoing training and reinforcement; or another score if your organization is somewhere in the middle.

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* 11. Blind Spot #11: Not focusing on lead generation.

This is the lifeblood of your business. Give yourself a 1 if there are constant business development problems that express themselves in poor projections or missed revenue quotas; a score of 10 if such crises seldom or never occur; or another score if your organization is somewhere in the middle.

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* 12. Blind Spot #12: No methodologies and systems.

When everything is improvised, inconsistency carries the day, and unpredictable events- like key people leaving or becoming ill for an extended period- lead to major, immediate problems. Give yourself a 1 if your business would be in instant crisis if its top 3 people were, without warning, incapacitated for a week; a 10 if such an event would have little or no immediate effect on the smooth functioning of your organization; or another score if your organization is somewhere in the middle.

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* 13. Blind Spot #13: Not effectively planning for organizational change initiatives. 

How did you last prepare the team (or any portion of it) for major changes that would affect them- such as a change in compensation, a change in benefits, or a change in the way your company does business? Give yourself a 1 if you simply announced your decision and thanked everyone in advance for their cooperation; a 10 if you talked to user groups before finalizing the change, planned and managed the change initiative using multiple communication channels, and set up a reinforcement plan that involved key internal allies; or another score if your organization is somewhere in the middle.

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* 14. Blind Spot #14: Not sharing the vision with those tasked with implementing it.

Only people who share and are aligned with the leader's vision for the company can evangelize on behalf of it. This vision must be constantly reinforced over time. Give yourself a 1 if you have not formulated a personal vision for yourself and a complimentary mission for your organization; a 10 if you can and do communicate that vision easily, regularly, and with passion to other members of the team; or another score if your organization is somewhere if the middle.

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