According to John Gezema’s recent Athena Doctrine (64,000 person, 13 country piece of research) on leadership, the world is changing and as the world changes we want and need leaders to express and bring new qualities and values. Gezema identifies intuition as one of the top 10 most desirable qualities of a modern day leader, and also I believe its one of the least developed or understood.
Intuition can get pigeon holed into ‘gut instinct’ – then maligned as ‘animal instinct’ which is far too ‘base’ for us ‘rational, enlightened beings’ to use.
Or it’s seen as whimsical, like a personal spiritual choice, put into the bracket of subjective, unprovable and thus not to be trusted or used openly in our logical analytical world.
Then there are the well-informed scientists who suggest that ‘thinking fast’ (as intuition is labeled) is a specific brain process of approximation that should not be trusted for the detailed work of making important decisions.
For many people, in everyday life, they might feel and sense their intuition in the background when they are making decisions, but they don’t know how to trust it, refine it or make use of it…so it gets ignored and often spoken about in hindsight, ‘I knew that was what I should have done’.
Slowly but surely things are going to change, an intuitive approach to living is going to surface as the key for those who are pioneering the new and leading in their fields.
Why? Because it’s the missing link to being whole and true in who you are and what you do. It’s also the skill set that allows you to operate successfully in the interconnected, collaborative, innovative, fast-paced, heart-resonant world we are all moving into.
I have completed a simple exercise with 100s of people, from diverse backgrounds. That exercise is to ask people to tune in to a time when they felt their intuition talk to them clearly. I ask them to relax, breathe and take themselves to that time (you can do this now if you would like), and to notice how their intuition is talking to them:
- Do you see images or a film playing in your inner eye? What are you seeing?
- Do you feel and sense your intuition in your body? What’s the texture of these sensations?
- Do you hear your intuition talk to you? How does it talk to you and what does it say?
And so the exercise continues through the senses…
I then ask people to feed back to me their experience. They share with me not only their surprise at the clarity of their intuitive experience, (even years on, people can experience those intuitive moments like they were yesterday), but how centred, at peace and connected they felt to themselves. In fact, in re-living their intuitive experience, they re-centre and realize with some surprise that they were not connected to themselves before that point.
When we are listening to our intuition we come into a deeper awareness of ourselves and the world around us, and we can relax because we connect with our inner sense of security and wellbeing. This is incredibly valuable in a world of continuous and rapid change.
When you awaken your intuitive ability, there is also an internal aligning and anchoring of who you are with what you want, how you feel and think. There is no longer a separation of ‘them and us’ in the outer world, you see and sense the wider interconnections of life and understand how to work with them positively.
Essentially, intuition is about listening to yourself and the ‘outer world’ in a way that shows you what’s really happening beneath the surface, and what’s important to focus on. That’s why I call intuition a practice of ‘innerleadership’.
Although sometimes it takes courage to listen to yourself that deeply (especially in an area where you have been wanting intuitive guidance and not getting any), often when you do there is a deep sense of relief and freedom. No more pretending to buy the BS and no more letting the surface clutter detract you from what really matters.
On a personal level, intuition is vitally important for leaders to enable them to act 100% in alignment with who they are. Without that alignment they are in some ways defrauding themselves and those around them… and on some level they, and those around them, know it.
On a deeper level, not having access to your intuitive wisdom can lead to not being in alignment with who you are. This can mean:
- Although you might say you commit to something you can’t fully be behind your choices because there is an unexplored doubt/unease ‘in the back of my mind’.
- You work hard at what you want to create but get burnt out, because you find it hard to find the flow.
- You are not attracting what you want because your surface presentation of what you want is not yet energetically, psychologically and soulfully integrated with who you are.
- You miss the subtle signs and information given to you by the universe…and sometimes bigger, less comfortable signs show up until you get it.
- Even when you are successful, you don’t feel fulfilled because you’ve lost connection with your purpose and sense of meaning.
One big misunderstanding about intuition is the belief that it’s a special trait for the rare few and that either you have it or you don’t. It’s my experience that we all have the capacity to be intuitive and to live intuitively, should we desire to. With the inner fire of ‘yes I want this’, your intuitive ability supported hugely by certain skills, principles and practices, reconnecting to your centre is not as far off as you think. It’s also most effectively undertaken as an ‘active learning’ process. This is where you are learning through using your intuition in real life experiences and decisions, which is why I offer individual Intuitive Leader Coaching sessions, after all it’s your intuition, I’m just here to support you in hearing it.
I believe we all have the ability to be Intuitive Leaders, and that as we do, we’re going to facilitate our collective journey towards a more harmonious, connected, creative and peaceful future. Leading by example we create ripples of positive change that will be felt far and wide.
So…the question is: do you want to become an Intuitive Leader?