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The Law of Intuition – Leadership for Contractors

Learn About the Law of Intuition…for Contractors.

Introduction to the Law of Intuition.

Welcome back for another Construct-Ed podcast episode.  In this series we have been taking a look at John Maxwell’s best selling book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and how those laws can be used in the construction and remodeling industries.  In this episode we are going to be looking at the Law of Intuition. My name is Chris Jurin.  I am the CEO of Construct-Ed and I am serving as your guide through these podcasts on leadership.  I am a trainer with the John Maxwell Team.  In addition, I serve as the president of a commercial roofing company as well as the president of a roof consulting firm. What is intuition?  Most people don’t consider themselves to be intuitive.  But, what most people don’t realize is that they are intuitive especially in areas where they are gifted and areas where they have strength.  

Intuition is defined as the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.  In simple terms, it is using a gut feeling to understand something and then determining a path for moving forward without having to know every detail before making a decision. Do you consider yourself to be intuitive?  You may be tempted to think NO WAY!  Intuition is beyond me.  But in reality, it is not beyond you to develop intuitive abilities.  Your intuitive abilities grow and expand as you learn and build on your strengths.  Think about that for a moment – are you able to make a judgment call on a particular issue at a project based on prior experiences?  If so, you just might be intuitive!  (Channeling my inner Jeff Foxworthy).

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying “I believe in intuitions and inspirations…I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am”.  Do you ever feel that you are right, even before you know all of the information needed?  Do you ever find yourself looking at something and just have that feeling that something might be hiding just below the surface.  Again, that is your intuition at work.  We all have a tendency to evaluate our current situations through the lense of our strengths.  Our intuition is anchored by our strengths.  Take a moment to consider the strengths that you use to evaluate your surroundings.

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Examining the Law of Intuition in Construction and Remodeling.

The Law of Intuition is one of the 21 laws in John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  It is established on the premise that “Leaders evaluate everything with a leadership bias.”  As I mentioned before, everyone has a tendency to evaluate their surroundings according to their strengths.  Strong operations managers have a tendency to view their surroundings through an operations filter.  Those whose strength is technical prowess lean heavily on their knowledge to filter their surroundings.  Abraham Maslow said “He who is good with a hammer tends to treat everything like a nail.”  In order to treat everything like a nail, an individual must first see everything like a nail.  If that individual recognizes something for what it is and it is not a nail, then an intelligent person would not have a tendency to pull out a hammer.  He or she would pull out the right tool to match the situation that they are in.  

Consider how buildings are designed.  Contractors and building owners depend on professional designers to bring together plans for a building that meets the needs of future occupants and operations.  Imagine if a designer was only good at designing convenience stores and as a result everything they developed was shaped like a convenience store.  Meat packing plants – convenient store design.  Libraries – convenience store design.  Sounds foolish, right? As foolish as that sounds, isn’t that how so many people treat situations that they run into all day long? Problems develop all day long.  These problems are unique.  Human resource issues.  Technical issues.  Systems and process issues.  Client issues.  All different problems, but they are all viewed as the nail.  And inevitably the hammer gets pulled out and WHACK!  That problem is solved.  Not really.  The problem is just bruised, but it is not solved.  

In the Law of Intuition, John Maxwell states that who you are dictates what you see.  We have a tendency to see our surroundings through who we are and apply those solutions that are closest to our strengths.  Our strengths support our intuition.  Ask yourself what you see when you look around you.  What do you see when you look at your teams?  What do you see when you look at your projects?  What do you see when you look at your tools and equipment?  Chances are that you look at your resources in light of your strengths. 

Examining the Law of Intuition and how it plays into construction and remodeling companies.

If you want to grow as a leader in the construction and remodeling industries you have to commit to growing your leadership skills.  As your leadership skills grow and you increase your strengths you will find that your intuition in the areas of leadership grow as well.  As John Maxwell states, you develop an informed intuition. Developing your leadership skills enhances your ability to lead intuitively.  It allows you to look at your surroundings through a new filter.  I am a big fan of Oakley sunglasses.  I have had Oakleys for most of my adult life.  The main reason that I appreciate Oakleys is for their polarizing filters.  My eyes are not the greatest, so they help me see things that I typically could not see.  One day a couple of years ago, I was on vacation with my family.  We were walking on a bridge over a pond.  Looking at the surface of the pond without the glasses on, the only thing that could be seen was a dark murky water.  And there was a lot of sun glare reflecting off of the surface of the water as well which made it more difficult to look at the pond.  I flipped my sunglasses down which opened up a whole new world.  The filtering properties of the sunglasses revealed the life that was hiding below the surface.  Fish and turtles populated the pond.  But without the filter applied, I would never have been able to see what was hiding below the surface.  The same thing can be said about applying a new filter to leading teams.  By flipping down the filter of leadership, you may see new opportunities and new life that was otherwise hiding below the surface.  The opportunities were always there, but it took a new filter to be able to see them.  We have to learn how to read our situations through different filters.  In the Law of Intuition, John Maxwell shares his views on how leaders think.  I would like to take a few minutes to share his views here and also how they relate to construction.  

  1. Leaders are readers of their situationBe aware.  Be aware of what is going on around you and with those who are on your team.  Look for opportunities and understand timing as it relates to taking advantage of those opportunities.  There are many times when construction leaders approach situations, but forget to assess their situation before they begin to take action.  They practice leadership from a ready, shoot, aim process.  Look at your surroundings and the context of the situation.  Don’t rush to judgment.  Give yourself time to examine your situation and consciously apply your filters that you are developing.
  1. Leaders are readers of trendsThink back to high school geometry and math class.  Do you remember what it takes to draw a line?  Two points.  Two points create a line and a line indicates a trend.  A single point does not indicate a trend and trends are needed to see a pattern.  Do you rush to judgment based on a single point or do you look to examine the trends and patterns? When situations present themselves, look to see if you can identify a trend.  For example, do you have a crew member who is not showing up to work on time?  Is this a pattern that is developing or is it a unique situation?  And what are the causes?  Look to identify trends before you react quickly.
  1. Leaders are readers of their resources and their people: How do you look at your resources?  In construction, our resources typically are our materials, equipment and our people.  But do you look at all three the same way?  Are your people nothing more than another resource like the equipment on your site? Learn to read your resources.  Examine the culture of your crew and your company.  Is there respect on the crew or are you treating your team members like dispensable equipment?  Drivers of vehicles are sensitive to how the vehicle is operating.  They can typically sense when they have a mechanical problem and they get it fixed.  How sensitive are you to the problems that your team members may be experiencing?
  1. Leaders are readers of themselves: John Maxwell quotes poet James Russell Lowell.  It is a great quote – “No one can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself.”  Do you take time to pause and reflect on yourself, looking for opportunities to improve your abilities? Speak with your team and your peers.  Look for feedback and then look for resources to help you overcome your weaknesses.  Remember that leadership is not a destination.  It is a journey.  You will never really arrive at your destination because there will always be something else to do and see on the way.  Enjoy the trip.

In closing…

Intuition is something that each of us possess.  It is a skill that is in each of us and can be grown and developed.  What is your area of strength?  Whatever it is, you more than likely have some degree of intuition in that area. Remember that intuition can be developed over time by increasing your skills and focusing on your areas of strength.  And if you want to develop abilities in a new area, begin to learn about that area and build your skills.  Your intuitive abilities will begin to grow in those areas as you build your skills.  

The John Maxwell Team has outstanding resources for helping you develop your leadership skills.  These skills can be developed in a way that will help you in both your professional and personal lives.  I would suggest that you look at resources including the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.  You can access the online store for order these resources by going to the following link: http://www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/christophorjurin/ . Click on the Products tab which will take you to the John Maxwell Team online store.  Search for the content on the site or take time to browse the online store. 

Thanks for tuning in to our discussion on the Law of Intuition!  Continue to work on building your intuitive abilities by building your strengths.  If we can answer any questions for you on leadership topics, please feel free to list them below and we will do our best to get some answers for you. Check out Construct-Ed for more training and education resources related to leadership in construction. 

Want more leadership training for contractors and construction? Check out our free course!

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