As a young man obsessed with driving rapid sports cars (often far too rapidly), I considered myself very fortunate to have my very own mechanic who would regularly tune my latest “beasts” to perfection. He was a genius, and to watch him go about his work — which was his obsession — was an honor and a privilege. He rarely lifted the hood until he was ready to perform his magic. Instead, he would just listen — not unlike the way a master piano tuner listens carefully to the notes being played.
I knew this mechanic well; he was my father. And he was one of the most intuitive people I have ever known.
Very occasionally, I have witnessed the same thing in my business life, but sadly, it has been far too rare. It is that trait that distinguishes the great manager or leader from the merely good.
Intuition means feeling rather than merely seeing or hearing. We are completely in tune with our team. We understand each of them on a very deep level. We know what motivates them. We are able to stimulate and goad them in equal measure to reach optimum performance levels. As a consequence, we end up with a team capable of remarkable things.
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Can anyone become an intuitive manager or leader? Yes, of course. I have always believed that if one person can do something, then anyone can — if he possesses sufficient desire.