Trusting Your Intuitive Instincts

By John C. Maxwell

There is a certain element of risk in intuitive leadership, but that is the very nature of leadership. André Gide said, “One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” A neglect of cultivating intuition results from doing what is safe and secure. I can’t think of very many things of value that are won by staying safe and secure.

While leaning on your intuition is a leadership advantage, it can also be a weakness.  You’ll gain the trust of others when your intuitions lead to good decisions. And you’ll forfeit trust when you fail because you continually ignore the wise advice of those around you. Robert Heller said, “Never ignore a great feeling, but never believe that it’s enough.” Great leaders learn to trust the intuition of their confidantes as well.

Here are some steps I’ve developed for tapping into my intuitive instincts:

1. Write down the issue at hand.
2. Identify as many options as possible.
3. Pull away from the process and pray.
4. Start playing out consequences of your options, eliminating them one by one.
5. Bounce a couple of your top options off of wise people both inside and outside your organization.
6. Do a heart check. This involves looking at:
- My motive: “Why am I doing this?”
- My responsibility:  ‘Should I be doing this?”
- My emotional status: “Can I feel right about doing this?”
7. Make a decision.
8. Hold to that decision.

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