The Edge in Leadership

Leaders in every field have something special that’s hard to define. It goes beyond knowledge and experience.

So what is it?

Great  leaders often have that sparkle. A great personality that endears them to people. They can connect instantly and make people feel good about themselves.

I’ve worked for leaders who made me feel so special that I would rather die than let them down. This feeling made me work evenings and weekend just to get the job done. I craved for that special feeling again.

We all have a yearning for honest appreciation. Not flattery.  Flattery feels false and the leader comes across as a fake. Too much flattery is repulsive and results in lack of trust.

Whilst a special personality is important. Great leaders make great decisions. If you have all the information then most decisions are obvious and easy. Easy decisions doesn’t mean they are not painful. For example, it may be a logical and easy decision to shut down the R&D department in a business and cut staff. Often it is very painful on the leader and staff because of emotional attachment and the fact that people have to suffer.

However, in many instances the information available is incomplete and there are so many other factors to consider. Delaying making decisions because you don’t have all the information is often damaging. Great leaders are somehow able to make great when others are afraid. They have an instinct about what to do despite incomplete data.

This instinct is known as intuition. Often, it’s a gut feeling that guides the decision. It just feels right.

Due to my long experience in academia, I can make good decisions based on instinct. When someone asks me about why I made a certain decision, I can’t explain it with facts and logic. It just felt right. For example, I have hired people that did not have the best CV and interview performance but because it felt right. These decisions paid off big time. I have also hired people with great CVs and interview skills and I was very disappointed.

Great intuition comes from practice.

Some people can read others well and know who to work with or hire. They get the best out of them.

Others have great instinct about systems and processes. They can make things work optimally.

Great sports champions do things in the arena that often surprise crowds and audiences. They make great plays instinctively. Great teams have players that instinctively know what their team mates are going to do and react accordingly to win. Great coaches make crucial decisions to grab impossible victories from the jaws of defeat.

You can train your intuition by reviewing your decisions and actions after you’ve made them. Make corrections in your mind and execute everything perfectly.

This constant reflection and mental rehearsal will develop your leadership intuition. You will develop great decision making capacity.


#YPS #Leadership

Posted by ypsociety