We’ve all heard of it: Women’s Intuition.
It’s that “gut feeling” we get when we just know something is or isn’t right. Jokes have been made about it; we’ve tried to discount its value; but the fact is, intuition plays a key role in our decisions.
And it’s not exclusive to women.
A good leader will develop this sense of intuition.
John Maxwell talks about intuition and
its three components:
instinct, fact, and conditions.
Leadership is about looking at a situation from a high enough vantage point that we can see it from this three-dimensional perspective.
Going by feeling (instinct alone) can often get us into trouble. That old saying “if it feels good, do it” can have serious repercussions. So, yes, instinct is one part, but not the only part. And it should not be ignored. Listen to your instincts, and then pull in the other components so you get the full picture.
The second dimension is fact. So you have instinct, which is feelings-based and important to consider. And you have facts, which balance instinct. What are the facts? Totally separate out feelings for a moment and determine what the facts are. Write them down.
And then you assess the situation from the aspect of conditions, which is the broader perspective. What’s the big picture? If you do “x”, what will result, based on conditions? To use a weather analogy, it may be sunny right now. Is this a stable condition, or the calm before the storm?
An industry example of this might be a manufacturing facility whose leadership sees that demand is high right now for a product so they go on full production to make that product in massive quantities. And then they find in a month that demand has declined to a point where they can’t even give away the products.
Failing to consider conditions is a short-term perspective, and is NEVER wise, especially in a business. If you find yourself using terms like ASAP, making major changes constantly, and being reactive instead of proactive, this dimension is one you really need to work on. You must develop a long-range plan.
Here’s an example of how intuition can serve you well.
Quit your job and start a business. You feel strongly this is the path for you. Great!
Do you have the passion and skills to do a certain type of work? Do you have the tools? Are you in a place financially to where you have the funds available to start the business and carry you through the start-up stage? Are you willing to make the sacrifices necessary to actually make it happen?
Is this the right time for you to quit your job? Looking at the broader picture, is there a demand for your product or service? Who is your target market, and can they afford to pay you? What is the long-range prognosis for your business?
Intuition is a wonderful thing. It gives us a complete picture of what we should and should not do. Develop this leadership tool, and it will serve you well.
We’re talking more about intuition
on the Leadership Insight show on
December 17, 2012
and we’re laying plans for 2013
in our Inner Circle group.
This is a powerful 1-2 punch!
Join us, won’t you?