I remember one crisp spring day when I was 17. I was on my way to pick up my sister from her high school, trying to get my parents' bloated, brown, customized van to perform like the nimble Porsche 911 I fantasized about owning some day when I was rich and famous. I swung wide to the right, hit the brakes, flashed a quick check at my mirrors, cut the wheel hard left, and threw her in to a snappy illegal U-turn — just as I was broadsided by the car that had been following me.
One of the hardest challenges an executive faces is understanding and compensating for what they don't know. It is hard enough to deal with the areas you know you don't know — but the things you don't know you don't know are the blind spots that can crash an entire company or wreck a committed relationship, before you even know what hit you.
Perhaps the single best way to deal with this challenge is to work with a set of mentors and a highly qualified coach. These resources can:
Provide you with broader, complimentary perspectives to your own
Alert you to emotional biases and unconscious dynamics that are distorting your evaluation of a situation
Get you to listen when they see an approaching threat that may blindside you
Point out critical learning opportunities you aren't aware of
The "interesting" twists and turns of my life so far have gifted me with an unusually broad range of expertise that spans the technology, business, intrapersonal, and interpersonal domains. For an executive who has to deal with both technology and business issues, I am able to provide a very broad perspective that can help them cover a wide range of potential blind spots.
This expertise also allows me to coach clients in Strategic Planning.