Leaders must be both intuitive and knowledgeable. They must be intuitive enough to sense change coming to their industry, organization, etc., and they must have the systems in place to track all key performance metrics so they are fully knowledgeable. Knowledge and intuition feed off of one another. If we know what is happening, our intuition can take over from that point and push us to take action on correcting an issue, or leveraging an opportunity that we might have otherwise missed. Knowledge without intuition leads to just watching (taking no action) slow and painful failure. Intuition without knowledge leads to scattered snap decisions and eventually a lack of confidence in the leader. It takes discipline to consistently track and improve the performance metrics that are key to success, and this is really the starting point to running a clean and high performing organization. Knowing the metrics and their trends fosters a higher quality of intuition that can be responsibly acted on.
Many high performing individuals and teams reach a level of success that they begin seeing as a plateau. They have already achieved what their perception of success once was, but now they feel that the next level of success (perception changes once new levels are attained) is out of their reach. They feel beaten, burned-out, and may have reached a point that other aspects of life are starting to suffer because of their level of engagement in their career. They also may start to feel like the level of engagement is no longer worth it, and primarily blame outside factors for their current state of mind.
The level of engagement, the focus, the drive, and all other characteristics that make them GREAT, are all still there. The mistake they have made is in not proactively changing. They had a formula for success that was confined to themselves/their team, and rather than focusing on altering (adding people, use of resources, focus, etc.) the formula, they pushed forward with the current one and did so at a high level of intensity for far too long. Leaders are always going to work hard, and there will be times of high-stress and more hours than we would like spent at the office and away from our loved ones, however it is not sustainable for long stretches of time.
Unless we favor our success being graphed in the shape of a bell-curve, we must focus on proactive change in order to continue our growth and a balanced life. We must be visionaries and proactively invoke change – especially when we are knocking it out of the park and running hard for long periods of time.