The I Blind Spot

– Disorganized and Talks Too Much –

I’ve served on the Board of many professional organizations.  One Board I really enjoyed always had a mix of seasoned Board Members plus some “newbies”.  It was well organized and ran very efficiently.  Meetings started and ended on time.  Each job was well defined and as a result the Chapter functioned like a successful business.

One year we had a “newbie” on the Board, Jesse, who was full of ideas and enthusiasm.  In addition he was a lot of fun and did a great job of helping to increase the Chapter’s membership.  When the time came for nominations for next year’s Board positions, Jesse was nominated for President and was easily elected.  The problem was, the Chapter not only elected Jesse, they elected Jesse AND his Blind Spots!!

Jesse’s Talks Too Much Blind Spot was evident within the first few minutes of his first Board meeting.  He started the meeting in an entertaining way.  For the first few minutes it was fun.  Soon people were looking at their watches and getting a bit antsy.  Eventually the Secretary took charge and called the meeting to order.

At this point the Disorganization facet of Jesse’s Blind Spot emerged.  He didn’t have his meeting agenda.  He apologized and assured us he had completed it but had left it on his desk.  The meeting continued with complete confusion and finally ended very late when the Secretary frustratingly stepped in and called it to a close.

Jesse was embarrassed.  The experienced Board members were disgruntled.  The Past-President, a stickler for Parliamentary Procedure, was visibly upset.  We were not properly prepared for our first Chapter meeting nor were we used to being in that position.  There was some quiet grumbling by the senior board members about the coming year being a disaster.

Within a few days the Past-President called a private meeting of several veteran Board members.  Jesse was not included.  I anticipated a mutiny type of meeting and hoped I could persuade them the situation could be salvaged.  Sure enough, as he started the conversation, guidelines for replacing a President was the topic.

I agreed we had a challenge and asked if I could present an idea before we explored removing Jesse from office.  Everyone offered to listen as they were eager to have an alternative.  No one wanted the situation to escalate into one of confrontation and controversy among Chapter members.

I had prepared for this moment by reviewing the strengths of the I Personality Profile and listing those appropriate to Jesse.  I shared that he was inspiring, convincing, intuitive at reading people, diplomatic, and could move people toward a common goal.  We all agreed these were great characteristics for a President and the membership could thrive if we had a leader with these skills.

Next I mentioned that perhaps Jesse was nominated for this position a bit prematurely through no fault of his own.  He obviously had no experience running a board, something we should have explored before accepting his nomination, so part of the responsibility for this challenge lay on our shoulders also.  I suggested that since he was surrounded by experienced board members, including several Past-Presidents, we could put together a plan to coach him rather than explore the guidelines for replacing him.

Everyone was immediately on board.  The Past-President volunteered to work with Jesse on agendas and parliamentary procedure.  The Secretary offered to sit at his elbow and be his time-keeper.  Other members suggested what they could contribute and we all left feeling very hopeful about the coming year.

Within the next few months Jess developed into a phenomenal President.  His I Personality Style presence created an enthusiasm that helped the Chapter grow.  The camaraderie he helped create among Chapter members led to a surplus of volunteers for events, resulting in our fundraisers being a huge success that greatly benefitted our scholarship program.

Thank goodness our Board was filled with seasoned members who knew what was required to achieve success – a well managed Board that stayed on task and ran the Chapter like a business.  If they hadn’t taken immediate action Jesse may have continued the year with Disorganization and failure.  Eventually Jesse would have established himself as a poor leader.  Sadly, he never would have understood what had caused it.

Your Blind Spot can kill your business image.  Discover it, acknowledge it, eliminate it!

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