In business like in life we don’t always have all the needed facts to make decisions. Truly, most of the time we don’t, but we still need to make decisions that will sometimes impact our and others’ future in significant or even dramatic ways.
Some people get paralyzed by the absence of enough data and don’t move forward. Others, move forward, but in the wrong direction. Others, seem to have a gift of reading the situation and the people involved, and they are able to make the right decision (most of the time) even without all the facts.
“My practice is to make a leadership decision after gathering 40 – 60 percent of the information that can be obtained, and then use experience to make up the difference” — Colin Powell
According to The Law of Intuition, the eighth of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by author John Maxwell
“leaders evaluate everything with a leadership bias.”
Great leaders look at things differently, they evaluate everything with a leadership bias, as a result, they instinctively, almost automatically, know what to do and have the courage to do it: they use their intuition.
Leadership is More than Facts
Although facts are important, the Law of Intuition depends on so much more than just the facts.
“The Law of Intuition is based on facts plus instinct plus other intangible factors. And the reality is that leadership intuition is often the factor that separates the great leader from the merely good ones”
Intuition come from two things: from natural ability (person’s areas of strength) and from learned skills.
Leaders are Readers
John Maxwell in this chapter tells the story Apple and Steve Jobs, under the title “Reinventing Apple“. After the failing Apple asked Jobs to go back, he quickly made a few decisions based on his intuition: Jobs changed the leadership, dismissing all but two of the former board members, reviewed the road map of new products and axed 70% of the projects, fired the ad agency that was taking care of Apple’s marketing, and even created a strategic alliance with Bill Gates, Apple’s former archenemy.
Then John Maxwell makes a comment, he was writing in 1998, “Apple looks as if it’s turning around”. Now, in 2019 we all know that yes, Steve Jobs was able to turn Apple around. Good intuition Mr. Maxwell!
With intuition, leaders are able to read situations, trends, resources, people, and themselves, and they need to think differently.
Leaders are Readers of Their Situation
Leaders in all circumstances capture details that elude others. Their intuition helps them to be aware of their environment and understand what people are feeling and their attitude. They sense what is happening even if they don’t have all the facts.
Leaders are Readers of Trends
Instead of focusing always on the immediate tasks and assignments leaders learn to step back and see the context or the big picture. Instead of focusing only on effectiveness and efficiency, using their intuition, look years ahead. They can “see” where the organization is going.
Leaders are Readers of Their Resources
Leaders consider the available resources and how they can leverage them to solve problems and reach objectives. The ability to delegate effectively is an effective way of accomplishing the leaders’ goals. Leaders are constantly aware of what they have at their disposal.
Leaders are Readers of People
Leaders need to understand people to be able to motivate and mobilize them. Intuition helps leaders to sense what is happening among their people and anticipate and direct their doubts, hopes, or reluctance toward the common goals.
Leaders are Readers of Themselves
Finally, leaders need to understand themselves, they need to be aware not only of their own strengths and weaknesses, but also of their state of mind and feelings.
3 Levels of Leadership Intuition
“Who you are dictates what you see”
According to Maxwell, people can develop a degree of leadership intuition, even if not everybody starts at the same place. He believes that people fit into on of three major intuition levels:
1) THOSE WHO NATURALLY SEE IT
Some people are born with exceptional leadership gifts. They instinctively understand people and know how to move them from point A to point B. Even when they’re kids, they act as leaders. Watch them on the playground, and you can see everyone is following them. People with natural leadership intuition can build upon it and become world-class leaders of the highest caliber. This natural ability is often the difference between a 9 (an excellent leader) and a 10 (a world-class leader).
2) THOSE WHO ARE NURTURED TO SEE IT
Not everyone starts off with great instincts, but whatever abilities people have can be nurtured and developed. The ability to think like a leader is informed intuition. Even someone who doesn’t start off as a natural leader can become an excellent one. People who don’t develop their intuition are condemned to be blindsided in their leadership for the rest of their lives.
3) THOSE WHO WILL NEVER SEE IT
I believe nearly everyone is capable of developing leadership skills and intuition. But occasionally, I run across someone who “doesn’t seem to have a leadership bone in his/her body” and who has no interest in developing the skills necessary to lead. Those people will never think like anything but followers. — “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell, page 85-86
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
The book is divided in 21 main chapters, one for each of the 21 leadership laws. Below are the links to the chapters that I have reviewed or that I will review later.
- THE LAW OF THE LID
- THE LAW OF INFLUENCE
- THE LAW OF PROCESS
- THE LAW OF NAVIGATION
- THE LAW OF E.F.HUTTON
- THE LAW OF SOLID GROUND
- THE LAW OF RESPECT
- THE LAW OF INTUITION
- THE LAW OF MAGNETISM
- THE LAW OF CONNECTION
- THE LAW OF THE INNER CIRCLE
- THE LAW OF EMPOWERMENT
- THE LAW OF THE PICTURE
- THE LAW OF BUY-IN
- THE LAW OF VICTORY
- THE LAW OF THE BIG MO
- THE LAW OF PRIORITIES
- THE LAW OF SACRIFICE
- THE LAW OF TIMING
- THE LAW OF EXPLOSIVE GROWTH
- THE LAW OF LEGACY
BUY ON AMAZON: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by author John Maxwell