10 Apr As A Leader, Trust Your Instincts
To be a successful manager or employee, you need to trust your gut when making decisions.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve amassed a wealth of information and understanding about your customers. You’ve studied up on your demographic. You’ve read their letters, their comments, their feedback. You know the people you want to serve.
Trust this knowledge. Trust your hard-won instincts. You know your audience, your customers; give them what they want.
Surveys, studies, market research—they can all be helpful in making business decisions. But if you have no instinct, no gut, you’ll never flourish. Intuitiveness builds successful companies. If you don’t have a pretty strong instinctual feeling about a business matter, you don’t know your business well enough.
When Apple founder Steve Jobs was asked how much market research was conducted to guide Apple in its incredible string of new product successes, he responded, “None. It isn’t the consumers’ job to know what they want.”
Jobs answer was referring to the points in time when the iPhone, iTunes, the iPod, and the iPad were still concepts. His statement expressed his belief that market research would not have helped in the development of these products because consumers could not envision that they would want these new technologies bundled into the products that he had in mind.
Some people have the right training and experience to be able to ascertain consumer desires. Others simply have an innate creativity and ability to distill what people want.
Writes Psychology Today’s Peter Noel Murray, Ph.D., “Even among experts, some are more creative than others. They can look at the same information as the rest of us, but see concepts and solutions that use this information in unique and novel ways.”
A successful leader has a good dose of gut feel as to what her customers need, what they want. She’s learned this by paying attention to her customers over the years, and for knowing, instinctively, what people want and what they need.
If you don’t have that, bring in someone who does. And be sure to look for it and foster it in your employees.