I am not a teacher.
I have great admiration for teachers. They have the ability to take complex concepts and break them down into small components. Using those skills, they bring learners with varying levels of native proficiency to a place of understanding and application.
I have made a valiant effort, studying, preparing, and over-preparing for those times when it fell to me to teach, but it is not my natural skill. And that’s okay. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Some of us are birds and others are fish.
I love the book The Lion Tracker’s Guide to Life by Boyd Varty. In it there is a quote by fellow tracker Renias Mhlongo; “I don’t know where I’m going but I know exactly how to get there.” That statement comes much closer to describing my leadership style.
I fall into the category of the intuitive leader in that I may not be able to explain every step along the way but I am confident in how to get there. My belief does not lie in my own personal ability to execute every component of a goal because any business’s success is tied to the work of the many. My trust is in how I understand my personal true north and in the intentional practices and the pole-watchers that I keep in place.
Intuitive leadership starts with personal development. For me, that involves a host of personal practices, morning, and evening routines that center my thoughts, examine my emotions, and set my intentions. My personal faith grounds me. These practices help soften my heart, sharpen my sword and prepare me for the day ahead. The people closest to me hold me accountable.
Intuition without deep personal work can be catastrophic. Without constraints, intuition can easily devolve into ego. It can blur the lines and divert your focus. It is easy to get lost in understanding your authentic values – making money without making a difference, confusing pleasure with joy, and creating goals that aren’t tied to purpose.
Intuitive leadership is most effective when tied with personal values. People trust a leader who leads from the heart and the gut. One without the other misses the mark. Everyone finds their own path to connect their personal values to their leadership style but if you want to lead with intuition, start with deep, committed, personal work.