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Intuition and Heart

In a post today, Seth Godin reminds us that "the art of management is in understanding that all problems are different, and that your intuition and insight are the key." Failure to understand that simple concept is why most management books and workshops fall short of making people better leaders. They try to teach a systemic approach to leadership: if an employee does that, then you do this. But the methods don't succeed because, as Seth points out, no single method can cover every situation that might arise.

Knowing how to handle undesirable employee behavior is not what's most frustrating to the leaders that I train; in fact, most usually know what they need to do. What does frustrate them is trying to understand why employees behave certain ways in the first place. So, in my experience, leaders learn faster, and retain the information longer, when they learn why and how at the same time.

Seth refers to leading with "intuition and insight." I call it Leading from the Heart. Pick your own term. But if you want to be a better leader, focus more on awareness than on techniques.


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Great post. This is the difference between an exact science and a social science. Although I would never stoop and say that social sciences are 'soft' in fact they are far more complex because a true experiment can never be conduct due to flux. Large organisations don't embrace intuition because they can't control it.

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