Can see but am blind?

Man with covered eyes

“If one can see things according to one’s own belief system, one is destined to become virtually deaf, dumb and blind”

Robert Anton Wilson (author and futurist)

 How often as managers have we been unable to see what is obvious and have been blinded by our own prejudices?

Have you ever been looking for something and even though you have been told where to look and you still cannot see the object even though it is front of you?

This is because you have a pre-conceived idea in your mind of what you are looking for so you discount anything that does not meet what you are subconsciously looking for.

I can remember quite clearly being blinded by my own prejudices whilst managing a trucking operation. The business distributed motor vehicles. Over several weeks we had been receiving complaints of personal items being stolen from the vehicles. Initially I was convinced that it was occurring in other transport depots as we were the hub distribution point. The thefts continued and I still blamed the other depots. My fellow managers implemented theft prevention strategies and still the thefts continued and seemed to be increasing. Many of the items seemed to be of little value. The night supervision team claimed it was impossible that this could be occurring under their watch.

I was still convinced it was occurring elsewhere. Then one of my staff suggested that perhaps it was happening under own very own noses!

We set up a sting the next night, involving the police and a private investigator. Imagine my shock when two drivers working in our depot were caught on camera stealing from a car. All the time I had been blinded by my personal prejudices – the culprits like the object in the cupboard were there all the time.

This example demonstrates an important characteristic of good management. Review all the possibilities, consider them carefully and don’t make decisions based on emotions or preconceived ideas……………

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