“Go with your gut.” I heard that unlikely advice many times in my military career, where you would expect information gathering and careful analysis to drive decision-making. But experienced Army officers know well that at the end of the day, the data only takes you so far.
The reason for that is people. Every plan has to be executed by people. Every goal will be accomplished by people. Leadership is the art of moving people from where they are to a better place.
To do that, you have to leave the world of facts and rely a lot on your feels. Lead by intuition.
And now you’re thinking, “Hey, Greg, your last blog was all about the data.” My point there was you have to know the truth, you can’t let emotions blind you. My point here is that, within the context of the truth, you lead with emotions, not data.
People’s emotions kick in way faster than they understand, and people seek comfort first of all. As Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, put it, “People value feeling over knowing.” And you do too. You’re more likely to follow based on feelings like trust and loyalty than because what you’re doing has a 77% likelihood of helping 50% of your customers.
Once you have all the facts, you still have a choice about what to do. Go with your gut. Look at your people, think about your history together, and do what feels right for your team.