Go with your gut.
That’s what I’ve always done. And, most of the time, it’s worked remarkably well. I’ve made major decisions in my life based on a gut feel of the right thing to do. I listened to the inner voice that pointed me in the direction marked “success.” Then, I didn’t second-guess myself. I moved forward with confidence and conviction.
Some business leaders, however, scoff at the concept of intuition, preferring to make “evidence-based” decisions based purely on cold hard facts and statistics. I couldn’t disagree more with that approach. That’s only part of the equation.
Intuition is a cosmic energy that’s deep within you. As a teenager launching my first significant business I instinctively steered myself on a momentous journey. The “inner me” didn’t stop to over-analyze all of the options; it flashed the green light and I just put my foot on the accelerator. Intuition has served me well.
No less an authority than Albert Einstein, one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th century, falls squarely into the pro-intuition camp, saying, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
One of the world’s more recent geniuses, Steve Jobs, put it this way, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Look where that attitude led!
As we journey through life we are constantly faced with options; most are small but some are so big that they alter the remainder of your days. Listening to your intuition guides your destiny.
Intuition is not about ego. It is not about needing to have your own way or wanting to prove others wrong. Intuition is more than a feeling.
As you mature, your intuition should get even more powerful as it fundamentally springs from years of experience and information that you have gathered as well as your God-given intelligence. Detectives sometimes solve murder cases as the result of a so-called “hunch.” Surgeons make life or death calls because they intuitively react—thanks to hours of experience in the operating theater. First responders do the same, as do troops in combat.
Intuition, of course, can be hard to explain to someone who doesn’t “get it.” And for those of us who believe in the power of intuition it’s important not to let it rule our lives or for us to become over-confident. Equally, you have to be careful that you don’t misidentify emotion for intuition. Emotions distort everything.
Intuitive decision-making gets better with practice. Don’t apply it in a knee-jerk response. Sit and contemplate what your gut tells you. Weigh up your instinct against available information. Peak-performing leaders use it all the time to evaluate job hires and existing employees; to drive the direction of their company; to launch product A rather than product B.
Here’s another key piece of advice: don’t micro-manage. If you’re focusing on a tree rather than the forest you may well get bogged down in the detail to such an extent that your intuitiveness gets clouded.
Give yourself permission to place a high value on your intuition. Don’t be afraid to go with your gut. It is a powerful force in building your business.