Are you 55? Are You the CEO? You might be suffering from Illusory Blindness

December 5, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Siddhartha Rastogi


Your success is dependent on your actions!

Your actions are dependent on your thoughts!!

Your thoughts are dependent on your beliefs!!!

Your beliefs are influenced by 3 people you give your maximum time.

Hence you should choose your company wisely. The words written above hold even more relevance as the circle of influence on individuals is narrowing due to technology.

Let me explain this. In olden times, people were more social, they were forced to go out to work, to shop, to finish daily activities and chores, the number and frequency of social touch points were many.

Often the social set up was that of joint families. Now everything can be done online using a phone and hence the number of people one interacts or willingly spends more than a few minutes with is limited. In such a scenario our natural propensity to interact gets satiated with people who seem to be progressive but are nothing but Yesmen wanting to get their pound of flesh.

As you get on the wrong side of 55, you tend to become rigid in your thoughts and approach. You don’t want your critics around you. If you are holding a power of position in corporate life, not only your professional progress but organizational growth tends to suffer, as well.


It is a common case of Illusory Blindness which most heads of businesses or CEOs get infected with.


 Common Symptoms –


  1. Fortification – It’s a common process through which old experienced performing hands of the organization are shown the door and loyalists (even with iffy resumes) of the incoming CEO take key positions in the firm. It can help the incoming CEO create a perception to the board and industry that change can tremendously push profitability for its stakeholders.

  2. Centralization of Power (Fear of delegation) – Most people suffering from this condition tend to hoard and most common being power. Decisions & actions are generally centralized post discussion within the coterie. Layers of bureaucracy tend to increase.

  3. Illusory perception of Growth – Lots of data is used to camouflage degrowth and failure. New metrics which never existed are brought into the picture reflecting positive changes which might not add to the bottom line.

  4. Risk Aversion and Overconfidence – With age and retirement in sight, most people don’t challenge the status quo and hence wish to participate passively rather than solving new challenges.

  5. Draining of talent from the ship; Lack of top talent joining the boat – People suffering with Illusory Blindness can’t see the dynamic world of the next 50 years, hence they don’t plan or invest for future growth. Most enthusiastic workers tend to drop the ball whilst new smart ones refuse to participate in the drill.

  6. Prescribing same medicine for all illnesses – People generally use the same fire fighting tools which came in handy decades back, although they might not be relevant in today’s fast changing world.


What can be its treatment…..?


Realizing the problem is the first step towards its solution.

As mentioned above people suffering from Illusory Blindness live in denial and keep chugging along in fear or in hope, passing it on to people whom they are answerable to.

Exit is not the easiest option available hence moving them up, down or inside is an easier method to tackle the situation and penetrate the fort creating room to act and maneuver.







Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha was born to a learned middle class educated family in Semi Urban India. His father was an extremely honest man who because of his honesty had to pay the price in corporate world. Mother is a determined woman who ensured that children are being well taken care off. After a few years of birth, doctors called Siddhartha, a slow child having flat foot. He would fall more than he could walk. Determined mother ensured all therapies for her son to come out strong to fight the world. Siddhartha joined swimming when he was in 6th standard. Seeing other children of his class, he jumped in 10 feet deep pool and learnt swimming on his own, the very same day.

From that day there was no looking back. He topped his city in 12th and went to score highest in his B school exams. During his profession as banker, he became youngest branch manager of a MNC bank managing their biggest wealth branch in the country. There he found love of his life and got married. His love of his life emerged in the form of his daughter who completely changed him for good.

Siddhartha Rastogi is Director for a boutique Investment bank in India.

Siddhartha is a forward looking thinker & writer who has written a book on decision making. 8 Simple steps to effective decision making.

He writes on various social and current issues via his blog and can also be found on twitter.


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