Intuition. It’s what makes leaders look at things differently to others, they evaluate everything according to their leadership bias and possess leadership intuition which informs them of everything they do.
Everybody possesses intuition but not everyone possesses leadership intuition. Intuition is difficult to write about because it doesn’t rely solely on empirical evidence. It relies on facts, experience and a variety of intangible factors such as employee morale and company direction to name a few.
Good leaders see everything with a leadership bias. This means as a result they can almost automatically know what to do when it comes to leading. Good leaders do this by using the 40/60 rule. They gather at least 40% of the information they need and on their leadership instinct, they are able to make up the last 60%, making a judgment on how to best take action. This means leaders are able to read situations.
Followers are focused on their current work, they think in terms of tasks at hand, projects or specific goals. Managers are more concerned with efficiency and effectiveness and may be able to read into how these tasks will affect the upcoming months. Leaders however can read years into the future, they can predict how the world will be, how consumer patterns will change and steer their organisation in this direction. Everything managers and followers do is to meet the bigger picture, a picture only leaders can see. Managers and followers can be told of this picture, but to foresee it to begin with is a skill leaders possess.
Leaders also read their resources differently. A good worker may encounter a problem and think what can I do to help? A high achiever may think how can I solve this issue? A peak performer may think what must I do to reach the next level so that I can overcome this? Leaders think differently. When they see a challenge, problem, or an opportunity, they think who is the best person to take this on? Or even what resources or materials do I have? Leaders who want to succeed maximise every asset and resource they have for the benefit of their organisation. They are continually aware of what they have at their disposal.
Leaders also read people. Intuition helps leaders sense what is happening among people and know their hopes, fears and concerns. They can sense what’s happening in a room, whether there’s curiosity or even doubt. This is the most important intuitive skill of a leader. After all, leadership involves people and if you cannot read those who follow you and understand if they are fully behind you, you aren’t really leading
Finally, leaders are good readers of themselves. Leaders must not only know their own strengths and weaknesses, but their current mind set. Why? Because leaders can hinder an organisations progress as easy as they can build it. When leaders refuse to change, take on tasks which they are weaker at rather than delegate, or take on too much due to a lack of trust in their team, an organisation has a hard time becoming better and will eventually decline.
I believe there are three levels of intuition leadership:
1.) People who naturally understand leadership. Some people are born with exceptional leadership gifts. They instinctively understand people and can move them from one point to the other. These are the children you see in the playground who naturally lead their classmates and people listen. They follow them.
2.) Those who can be nurtured to understand leadership. Most people fall into this category. They have adequate people skills and can develop intuition through further experience and becoming a people watcher. Watching how people behave and when problem solving thinking how can I get to the next level to solve this?
3.) Those who will never understand leadership. Occasionally you will find someone who has no people skills and does not have the character to develop or learn. This is not you as they do not read up on leadership.
Questions that you can ask yourself to see if you are an intuition leader
How are you with trusting your intuition. Do you prefer facts or do you feel? To become better at intuition you need to first trust it. Don’t go on intuition with everything to begin with as you will fail. Make decisions around your greatest strength, something you have experience in and thrive at.
Now think, when do you know something is right, is it when you have all of the information? Does your instinct ever betray you and when? Learn your aptitude for intuition where you are strong before trying to develop it into leadership.
Now onto the most important part. Can you read people? Can you tell what others are feeling? Can you sense when somebody is happy or upset? If not, then read books on relationships, engage in more conversations with a variety of people and become a people watcher.
Now how is your intuition? Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
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