Great and respected leaders use their intuition more than their rationality at critical moments. Their intuition helps them to protect their personal and professional boundaries and those of others. Highly developed intuition is central to emotional intelligence, which is indispensable both to being led and becoming a leader.
Intuition starts as a sense and wells up to become a thought, and then a string of theoretical consequences. This often leads to a confident decision to act. The heart and gut in form the mind and consciousness with information that is inaccessible to the mind alone. It’s as if a caution sign flashes and instinctively the intuitively-aware person pauses to ponder its meaning.
The response is not mere emotional reaction. It is usually grounded in core values possessed by the individual. Core values are beliefs that govern our actions and decisions at a root level; they form the “bottom line” for our existence and how we choose to show up in the world.
If we are to become respected as leaders, we need to identify and adhere to a set of core values that consistently show others what is important to us. These values are not just for ourselves. They also ought to promote the common good of family, company, and society. They are also attitude-adjusters which keep us honest in our response, rooted in our personal integrity and not simply in emotional reaction.
If you’re looking “out there” for some kind of charismatic leader who will make all things right, you are deluding yourself. Leadership begins with ourselves, constantly discerning our personal hierarchy of values. This process takes courage, conviction, and tons of humility! It’s especially tough when we are confronted with truth coming from someone with whom we tend to disagree!
As your own best leader are you be willing to disrupt routine in order live out your values to the fullest? Would you engage opposition from family or colleagues? Can you see how clashing values may actually be an opportunity for reevaluation, compromise, and eventually greater productivity, creativity, and life/work balance?
Intuition and values clarification will strengthen your “honesty muscle” the more you use them. They maintain the flow of communication and help you integrate seemingly contradictory ideas, thoughts, and emotions. In family relationships, which always require a high degree of candor and honesty, all members can achieve a radical freedom to be themselves as individuals and yet mutually supportive.
Caution: self-defeating inner voices will imitate the voice of intuition, and they rob you of the confidence you need to be an effective leader. The strongest of these voices is the “Judge.” The Judge questions our values and self-respect, our motives and performance, and our likeability. The Judge also deludes us into thinking that we are better than others, thus raising our hubris-quotient.
The “Sage” is also an inner voice, but one which is on our side. It is our wise, intuitive self. The Sage counters the Judge with messages of understanding, compassion, appreciation, curiosity, and self-management. It supports the non-negotiables on which we base our lives.
How has your intuition helped you to be a more courageous leader? When has the Sage overcome the Judge? What message from the Sage do you need right now? Do you wish to be a respected leader, at least for your own life? Who will you follow to help you reach this goal?
© Copyright Michael Parise 2017
Portions excerpted from Michael’s book: Life Interrupted, Taking Charge After Everything Has Changed
Since 1979 Michael has worked with individuals and groups to take full advantage interruptions and changes to balance responsibilities, simplify their lives, and find greater productivity and peace.
Want Michael to speak for your next event? Or hire him as your personal executive Life Coach to improve your relationships at home and at work? Call 813-444-9641 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org