Learning From a Different Place – Part 8
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Just as a reminder to those who may have missed it, I am revisiting John Maxwell’s book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. John Maxwell just released the 25th Anniversary edition, and it’s been just over a decade since I first read the book. John has rewritten thirty percent of the material, and I have been fascinated by how different my perspective is on the Laws after working with them for so many years. This week I am looking at The Law of Intuition.

The subtitle of this law reads, “Leaders evaluate everything with a leadership bias.” In new content for this chapter, John refers to decisions made by Jamie Kern Lima, founder of IT Cosmetics. Jamie’s story is fascinating, and she followed her intuition through challenging and hurtful times until L’Oréal purchased her company for 1.2 billion dollars. This is an amazing story, and I recommend everyone read Jamie’s book, Believe It.

It’s true that great leaders have intuition in things related to leadership, but what does that mean? Where does intuition come from? The last decade has shown me that everyone has intuition and that we are intuitive in our gifted areas—those areas in our professional or personal life where we are more proficient than most. We are just good at something and enjoy it. Intuition is that gut feeling, that inner knowing of something before you have all the facts or details.

The Law of Intuition tells us that leaders base their intuition on the following:

  • They read their situation – Leaders look for details in their situation that others miss. They can sense details that others pass over. While some may need large amounts of time to sift through the reams of data, the leader gifted in that area has already decided to move forward. Leaders see more than others see, and they see before others see.
  • They look for trends – Leaders are keenly aware of how situations are trending. They read the trend in relation to the big picture. Often finding great opportunities in the middle of chaos and difficulty.
  • They look for resources – Because leaders have made the transition from I can or I can’t, to how can I, they more quickly recognize resources before they are gone. Resources are not unlimited and may have a short shelf life. The leader who sees it first can capitalize on the opportunity.
  • They read themselves and others – The best leaders know who they are and, even more importantly, who they aren’t. They have taken the time to build an inner circle that can step in with help, resources, or insight based on the situation at hand. Whoever said leadership is a lonely business didn’t have a good inner circle.

If you would like to grow in intuition, Law number eight give us four simple questions:

  1. What do I know?
  2. What do I feel?
  3. What do I think?
  4. What should I do?

As we work through these questions, our intuition is exercised, and we can begin to rely on it much more quickly. How are you doing with the Law of  Intuition?

Next week, I’ll share more about The Law of Magnetism.