Intuition is a learned skilled and not, as is commonly thought, an inherent ability. Intuition is formed from two factors: a) extensive experience in an environment and b) expansive knowledge of the people, events and artifacts that influence that environment. And like all skills, intuition develops from use—the more you use it, the greater you learn when and how to apply it.
Leaders are no different. Leaders who skillfully use their intuition are more effective than leaders who rely solely on logic and tradition. Leaders who use intuition in their decision-making undertake certain actions, as well as adopt particular working and thinking styles. Recent research has identified the intuitive leader’s skills and competences (Malewska & Sajdak, 2014). These include:
- Analyzing and synthesizing large amounts of information to identify what is essential for a making a good decision. Knowledge is key to intuition.
- Filling the information gap with personal knowledge or previous experience,
- Decision-making readiness (intuitive leaders don’t procrastinate, but rather are prepared to make decisions under conditions of too little or too much information).
- Generating innovative solutions,
- Seeking the best solution,
- Taking risks (taking action even in the absence of complete information).
Someone observing the intuitive leader often gets the impression that their actions are quite chaotic and ‘seat of the pants.’ Intuitive leaders do work best when informal ties pervade their teams as these leaders seek quality ideas and information —regardless of its’ source. Finally, intuitive leaders’ effectiveness increases when they cooperate with other leaders who prefer similar innovative working and intuitive thinking styles. Developing and practicing your intuitive skills will make you a more effective leader.
Malewska, K., & Sajdak, M. (2014). The Intuitive Manager and the Concept of Strategic Leadership. Management (1429-9321), 18(2), 44–58.