Intuition & Experience – Misleading Tools For Great Leaders

When you make a decision, what do you rely on to make it? When you evaluate someone else’s decision, what do you rely on to evaluate it?

Those questions may seem far removed from great leadership, but they aren’t… they actually couldn’t be more relevant.

You and I typically rely on two things to make or evaluate a decision: intuition and experience.

Intuition calls on that gut feeling inside, drawing on that strange brew of rational analysis, deep emotions, unconscious assumptions, and personal aspirations – a brew that when concocted in a certain way tells us (rightly or wrongly, often wrongly) that this is the right decision.

Experience is our recollection of what worked or didn’t work in the past. If it worked in the past, we are more likely to let experience shape the decision. If it didn’t, we are less likely.

What does that have to do with great leadership? Everything: intuition and experience shape the way most leaders lead.

Unfortunately, both, at some point, fail us. The world has become far too complex, and the challenges of leadership far too daunting, to rely on either one. Much of great leadership is in fact counter-intuitive, and our intuition can easily lead us astray. Trusting our gut isn’t quite as foolproof as we may have been told. And experience is just as inadequate: we find ourselves too often in contexts where our experience has nothing to say.

So what’s the answer? The starting place is a framework that helps you apply the right kind of leadership to the context you are in. My job is to give you that framework, and to encourage you to become a student of that framework – which will help you get beyond the limitations that intuition and experience impose on your leadership.

Study great leadership – and use a framework to help you. That way, intuition and experience will no longer inhibit your growth and success as a leader.