John Maxwell’s Leadership Law #8:  The Law of Intuition

John Maxwell, a respected speaker and thought leader in the realm of leadership, writes that “who you John Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadershipare, dictates what you see.”

When it comes to being a strong leader, this means that your gut feelings are formed through your life experiences—and if needed, can be reshaped to help you get ahead.

This is the premise of the Law of Intuition, which is harder to explain than other laws in his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Still, it’s essential to tune into your intuition if you want to become a great leader.

The Law of Intuition

When writing about the Law of Intuition, John Maxwell acknowledges that it’s tougher than other laws to explain because it’s not as concrete. As he describes it, “The Law of Intuition is based on facts plus instinct plus other intangible factors, such as employee morale, organizational momentum, and relational dynamics.”

Your intuition is the gut feeling you get when you know something is right or wrong. Far from being pseudoscience, it’s an instinct that you can cultivate by knowing your job inside and out and understanding your team’s unique dynamics.

According to Maxwell, leaders see everything through a lens of leadership. They are continually reading situations and picking up on details that might elude others due to the simple fact that their experience has taught them how. A real leader knows their team and their business well enough to be able to make intuitive decisions about them.

Maxwell writes that there are three levels of intuition in leaders: those who were born with it, those who nurture it, and those who will never have it. But as he writes, the last group isn’t the type to read leadership articles at all, so you don’t have to worry about being one of them.

Putting Intuition to Work for You

Whether you already have a strong intuition or you need to learn to tap into it more, it’s essential to consistently work on developing your intuitive muscles.

The best way to do this is to devote yourself to understanding your team, their goals, and how you can help them get there. Your intuition is most reliable in areas that you know well, so learning the unique nuances and interactions between your team members and the different areas of your business is the first step towards strengthening your intuition.

It can be hard to develop your intuition if you don’t know what to look for. Start by trusting your gut when you get an instinctive feeling about something. How do you know when something is the right call? What signals do you feel that let you know one way or another? Pay attention to these signs so you can recognize them in every situation.

Part of honing your intuition comes from understanding people, especially the people on your team. Maxwell suggests reading books on relationships, people-watching, and engaging in more conversations to get a handle on the way people interact.

Your intuition can eventually help you recognize when there is a leader on your team. This person can be an asset to your company if you encourage and motivate them in the right ways.

The Law of Intuition might be a tough concept to grasp, but intuition is a skill that can be learned. If you’d like to hear more about how to develop your intuition and how it can influence your leadership style, fill out my contact form and let’s talk.


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Dave Schoenbeck
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