“The intuitive minds is a sacred gift, the rational mind its faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift”
I’m currently reading Giles Hutchins’ new book Future Fit which I highly recommend and have come to the chapter Shifting the Logic in which Giles references a lot of research that’s been done into learning, knowing and neuroscience. The compelling message for me is how important it is for our leaders to lead with their whole selves We’ve created a world of business where the rational logical part of our experience has become dominant – it is this that is most highly recognized, praised and, therefore, the predominant focus on leadership development programmes. However, this is only part of the story. We are all whole human beings not rational machines. Giles Hutchins points to Carl Jung’s four natural ways of knowing: thinking (rational analytical thought); feeling (emotional feelings); sensing (somatic embodied awareness) and psychical intuitions and how the ‘sweet spot’ is found when all of these are aligned. If you’ve ever said “I know that intellectually but ….” then you’ll have been in a situation where these aspects are not aligned; where there’s hesitancy and doubt as somehow you know that what you’ve heard isn’t the whole story. We need leaders who are able to lead in a way that embraces all aspects of knowing – knowing of the head, the heart and the gut.
There seems to me to be a clear role for leadership development in encouraging leaders to lead with their whole self and yet many programmes still focus predominantly on the rational logical aspects. Even Emotional Intelligence is commonly explored through an inventory or questionnaire that measures people on different scales. Whilst there’s a place for questionnaires is it at the expense of experiencing first hand what, for example, emotional intelligence feels like? Our leadership development programmes should be providing immersive experiences where leaders are able to see, feel and hear what it’s like to be their whole selves. We need Leadership programmes that not only challenge them intellectually but also at an emotional and intuitive level. It is only through encouraging leaders to tune in to their creativity, intuition, sense of purpose that we can help them to lead at their highest potential, a potential which is an embodiment of their whole selves not just their intellect.