Are You an Intuitive Leader?
Today’s leaders have become quite good at using and incorporating facts, figures, statistics and analytics. These pieces of data tell compelling stories, and they are incredibly useful to leaders who must determine the ways forward for their respective organizations. They spot trends that help them navigate a rapidly shifting landscape. They see the areas where their organizations are failing, too, which allows them to take action before it’s too late to make improvements. Thanks to the available data, leaders can also see the areas where their people and organizations excel.
Data has become so omnipresent that leaders have begun to rely on it more than anything else. Obviously, it is beneficial to use the numbers, facts, figures and statistics that you have available. But I would caution you to not get too caught up in the data. Otherwise, you may become so narrowly focused that your natural leadership abilities and instincts go dormant. And that’s the last thing you want to happen!
As I wrote in the blog post introducing my 8 Pillars of Grounded Leadership, trusting your “gut” or operating out of your instincts might not feel like the most reasonable thing to do. Every aspect of every decision can be analyzed from endless angles, so there is no reason to leave any decision up to intuition, right?
I believe that relying on data and the numbers too heavily actually knocks leaders out of balance. If you focus too much on the data, your natural leadership abilities can atrophy. This can lead to a loss in your ability to inspire your people. Which, in turn, can lead to lower rates of engagement, losses in productivity and a downward-pointing bottom line.
To me, balanced leadership means being grounded in both the head and the heart. Or in this case, it means being balanced between the brain and the gut. The brain loves data and knows how to work with it. But it often does its work at the expense of the gut, which is where a person’s sense of intuition lives.
As it turns out, the so-called “gut brain” is just as important as the head brain when it comes to decision making and leadership. Your intuition may not be measurable, nor will it ever spit out facts, figures or “accurate” data. Rather, your intuition or “gut feeling” will work by nudging you in the right direction.
The issue with intuition is that it’s hard to describe. It also works a little bit differently for everyone. Nevertheless, it is a critical leadership attribute – one that should not be swept under the rug in favor of facts, figures and data. In fact, intuition should be used in concert with your more analytical head brain.
Are You Using Your Intuition for Leadership?
What about you? Do you nurture your intuition and use it in your role as a leader? Or have you suppressed your gut feelings in favor of proven facts, logic or sound rationale?
These days, it’s challenging for leaders to be creative and make decisions on the fly. There are endless factors to consider for every choice that’s made. It can be maddening and completely overwhelming. If you struggle with the pace of business and find yourself always searching for more information to make your decisions, you could probably use some work on integrating your intuition.
Relying on your intuition and listening to your “gut brain” will not seem natural, particularly if you have become reliant on your more logical head brain. It might seem like a struggle, and it might make you feel like you’re adding another priority to your already long list of leadership values. But here’s the secret about intuition: It will actually make your life a lot easier if you learn how to use it to your advantage.
Use Your Gut and Give Yourself a Break
Thinking is exhausting. Making decisions takes a great deal of valuable mental energy. The brain is like a muscle, but today’s leaders have become accustomed to working that muscle to the point of strain and complete depletion. Do you ever reach the end of the day feeling like you’ve been running on fumes from your mental fuel tank? It’s not an unusual feeling these days, unfortunately. Thankfully, leadership doesn’t have to be like this. You can be an intelligent, effective and grounded leader without exhausting yourself mentally each and every day. The key is using your intuition.
The truth is that you might actually be thinking too much instead of simply allowing your intuition to do what it does best.
As a leader, it is important to trust yourself and the journey that led you to where you are today. You have learned a great deal over the years, I am sure. And you probably carry a lot of experience with you, as well. You have solved problems too numerous to count, and you have navigated all sorts of relationships in your professional life.
So why not put all of that stored intuition, knowledge and experience to work for you instead of thinking your way through every new challenge?
Your gut tends to know things before your head can even get around to analyzing an issue. You know the feeling, but you might have trouble trusting it – especially if you are used to relying on concrete, measurable data. I want you to have some faith, though, and try trusting your gut. Try believing in your intuition. After all, its intelligence is fueled by all the lessons you’ve learned throughout your entire life, as well as the cumulative experience you have achieved over the years. It’s not like flipping a coin or leaving your decision making up to chance. It’s more like trusting your intuition’s ability to calculate the best decision in the background. No thinking is required when you use your gut and tap into your intuition; it’s already been done. Now it’s up to you to trust what you’re being told.
Why Should You Become a More Intuitive Leader?
You might feel fine with the status quo, but I’m guessing there’s something inside you that’s encouraging you to become more intuitive. You have a feeling inside of you that tells you that there’s something more to your intelligence and ability than your ability to simply think your way through challenges using data and sound rationale. I feel like you should follow that feeling because you will be rewarded for it. Here’s how:
- Using Your Intuition Leads to Visionary Leadership – Intuitive leaders aren’t bogged down in the numbers. They are free to feel their way through situations, keeping their minds sharp. They also have more mental energy available for building visions of success that motivate their people.
- Using Your Intuition Makes You More Aware – Awareness of one’s surroundings, as well as oneself is crucial for effective modern leadership. When you learn to rely on it more, you will notice a greater awareness developing inside of you. This is a good sign for your ability to lead!
- Intuition Tells You When Things Go Wrong – When you are stuck in your head, you are more likely to avoid the signs of something going wrong. But when you trust your gut more, you become more sensitive to the signs, giving you the chance to make corrections before it’s too late.
- Intuition Creates Stronger Connections – Your ability to relate to your people is an essential quality. You can use your intuition to gain a better understanding of what your people are really thinking and feeling in your organization. They may tell you one thing, but your intuition will give you a glimpse at their real thoughts, which may exist under the surface. Your intuition makes the workplace more open and vulnerable, which leads to better relationships.
Ready to Become a More Intuitive Leader?
If you’re ready to become more intuitive in your leadership I am ready to talk to you! Trusting your gut and learning how to use your intuition effectively will be one of the biggest steps you can take on your way to becoming a truly Grounded Leader. So how can you get started on the path?
I’m here to answer your questions and talk it through with you! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a phone call at 1.855.871.3374. I am eager to discuss intuition with you!