Operations

How Solid Are Your Instincts?

Posted on May 4, 2016 by Sara Eastwood-Richardson - Also by this author

I work for a family business. The late Edward Bobit founded the parent company of LCT Magazine in 1961 after he left McGraw Hill Publishing. His story is noteworthy. A salesman to the core, he had a Jerry McGuire moment. The aha moment happened when he went to his company to present a great idea — a start-up trade magazine for the automotive fleet industry. The powers that be hated the idea. So Mr. Bobit, father of six kids at the time, quit McGraw Hill and launched Automotive Fleet on his own.

Today, that magazine continues to create spin off publications and has opened doors for acquisitions making Bobit Business Media the largest fleet media company in the world. Ed followed his instincts. He continued to run and grow his company using the power of gut feelings, being able to make snap judgments and quick decisions when necessary. Our company has survived mass disruptions, similar to those the chauffeured transportation industry has endured.

The art of entrepreneurship is to never evolve to the point where your instincts are snuffed out. We can’t be so process driven, so politically correct, so fearful of laws and regulations, that we forget we are owners of our destinies and standout against the “sheeple society,” primarily because we have strong intuition and guts. I don’t suggest we should disobey laws, but we need to trust ourselves instead of second guessing.

William Duggan, a pioneer in strategic intuition, said, “There are three kinds of intuition: ordinary, expert, and strategic. Ordinary intuition is just a feeling, a gut instinct. Expert intuition is snap judgments, when you instantly recognize something familiar, the way a tennis pro knows where the ball will go from the arc and speed of the opponent’s racket. (Malcolm Gladwell wrote about this kind of intuition in Blink.)

The third kind, strategic intuition, is not a vague feeling, like ordinary intuition. Strategic intuition is a clear thought. And it’s not fast, like expert intuition. It’s slow. That flash of insight you had last night might solve a problem that’s been on your mind for a month. And it doesn’t happen in familiar situations, like a tennis match. Strategic intuition works in new situations. That’s when you need it most.”

Change is happening everywhere. With it comes messaging and chatter about how to handle the change. There are people in this industry talking in circles and doling out advice and opinions on all matters involving these industry disruptions from employee retention to lawsuits to mobile apps. Keep a steady head and hand here. It’s important to gather information and facts as we navigate this paradigm shift. However, pay close attention to your inner voice — it’s what got you to where you are and no one has a better “feel” for what your company needs to do than you.

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