Some things in life are counterintuitive! Simplify put, leaders often lean on their gut and rely on intuition to get things done. When I was a manager in the natural gas pipeline industry overseeing multimillion-dollar projects I was a decision making gun slinger. Give me 50% of the data needed along with the knowledge of the deadlines and time constraints I was ready to make the million-dollar decision based on experience and intuition. Surprisingly it served me well. Besides if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Right? Wrong, as the years have passed, I would hope that I am wiser, a bit more reserved and much more reliant on others around me for advice. The understanding that I don’t have to have all the answers has taught me the value of seeking many counselors.
Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner in their books Not Knowing: The Art of Turning Uncertainty into Opportunity and Not Doing: The Art of Effortless Action we are brought face to face with the value of being counterintuitive. They explain that we often have to get to the point that we realize that “the old way of doing things is no longer possible.” In order for this to happen we truly need to be aware of our limitations and the environment in which we lead. They also explain that knowledge though useful, can be the very thing that limits our ability to change and grow because we refuse to lay it aside when necessary.
On my wrist is a silver bracelet given to me almost 15 years ago by my youngest daughter. I can count the number of times I have taken off in the past 15 years on one hand. On it is a simple inscription, “Proverbs 3:5-6.” It is a friendly reminder that I am not infallible and to always remember life doesn’t exist in a vacuum. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”(NLT) In a world dominated by technology giving us real time news and unlimited information at our fingertips it hardly seems logical not to depend on our own understanding and seek God’s will while trusting that He will guide us along the way. Depending on God and not myself reminds me as a leader that life isn’t all about me. Yielding the need to know all the answers and paying attention to how I interact with others is very freeing as a leader. Exploring the many possibilities through the opinions and advise of others has not only made life less stressful it has created an inward desire that being second and satisfied is ok.
“It’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Harry S Truman
 Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner, Not Doing: The Art of Effortless Action, (New York, New York; 2018), 25
 Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner, Not Knowing: The Art of Turning Uncertainty into Opportunity, (New York, New York:2016), 33