Synchronicity and Intuition: Leadership Skills for a VUCA World

Philip Merry Synchronicity Keynote Speaker Shares his views


1.    Why is careful planning and analysis alone insufficient to deliver results in today’s business environment?

Careful planning and analysis are fine when we have lots of time but unfortunately in today’s world decisions are often needed more quickly. We are living in a VUCA world - a term coined by the American military:

V - volatility

U - uncertainty 

C - complexity

A - ambiguity

It is not that we don’t need careful planning and analysis but we can’t rely on this alone. So much research has been done in the last few years showing that to make effective decisions we need both our thinking and our feeling capacities. And feeling is associated with intuition and synchronicity. Using both together will give better decisions and this is why we need more than planning and rational analysis alone.

2.    How can listening to our gut and following our internal guidance system make us better leaders?

We would like to think that it is the rational mind that drives leaders in their decision making but so much research has been done in the last few years (particularly by Jagdish Parikh and Joseph Jaworski) indicating the power of leadership intuition and synchronicity. Parikh reports that 61.4 male and 75.9 female leaders can cite instances where they have used intuition in their business. Very often it’s just a feeling that guides us. So what we are talking about here is the ability to listen to our internal guidance system – that still small voice that tells us to turn right when all the evidence says turn left.

3.    Would you be able to give an example of a leader who followed his gut and make the right decision?

In 1988 Chrysler CEO Bob Lutz was taking a ride in his favourite sports car thinking about how to revive Chrysler which was way behind both the Japanese automakers as well as General Motors and Ford. He was so enjoying the ride in his sports car that his mind strayed to thinking “wouldn’t it be great if Chrysler had a glamorous sports car to put us back on the map?” Then a thought popped into his head: “Why don't we use the powerful new engine from our pickup truck to develop a new sports car.” He had no data – it was just an intuitive feeling that popped into his head, but he decided that it was the way to go, and the following day he started to put the idea into action. He had lots of opposition especially from his finance people but he stuck to his guns and it turned out to be the most critical decision of his career because the intuitive idea which led to the Dodge Viper single-handedly changed the public’s perception of Chrysler and provided the momentum for the company to dramatically turn around its fortunes.

4.    Are there instances where your gut instincts can be wrong? How can you differentiate and avoid such moments?

Of course intuition is not right all the time and nobody is claiming that it is. The research by Parikh tells us what instinct is not. He says it is not an instinct, impulse ingenuity, inspiration, intellect or wishful thinking. He says that the signs of authentic intuition are that people have a body or physical sensation, some people even hear a voice. Authentic intuitionist is characterised by an intense clarity in mind, a strong feeling sense, a working together of left and right brain hemispheres and a higher state of consciousness i.e. what Parikh calls a sense of luminosity. Of course it still does not mean that your gut instincts are always right. All we are saying here is that you need to use gut instinct to help you think more deeply about the decision you may have arrived that rationally.

5.    Where does synchronicity come in? How is it different from coincidence? Could you provide an example that helps differentiate the two?

Synchronicity has been studied for many years. In simple terms it is having a thought/idea/need and then having something turn up in your life that answers that need. Actually it has been around since time began. Humans have always looked at signs from the environment to guide them in their decision making. After the age of Enlightenment these “signs” were seen as superstitions and were put aside or went underground. But this phenomenon of answers that came “out of the blue” did not go away. In 1957 psychotherapist Carl Jung developed the term synchronicity and research has strongly continued into this phenomenon. How is synchronicity different from coincidence? Coincidence is when something just turns up out of the blue to which you attach no meaning. Synchronicity is when you have a thought about something and within a short period of time an external event happens that gives you an insight or guidance that helps you with the problem that you are thinking about. So synchronicity has a meaning. Coincidence does not have a meaning. 

6.    Top three takeaways

If you examine synchroncity and intuition further I can promise that I will certainly push your thinking to consider things that you may have not considered before.

A. You will understand the possibility that there might be help for leadership issues and problems beyond the logical rational process.

B. Secondly you will understand a new mindset that is backed up by quantum physics and scientific research.

C. And thirdly you will clarify how Combining Synchronicity and Intuition with Logic Produces more Effective Leadership.

Philip has 41 years consulting, training and coaching experience in 61 countries on building High Performing Multi-Cultural Teams and Leadership. As the only person in the world to receive a grounded theory PhD on Synchronicity and Leadership, he is well placed to help leaders and teams understand the power of synchronicity and intuition to help Lead the Future and maximise team success.  An in-...

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Synchronicity and Intuition: Leadership Skills for a VUCA World | Asia Professional Speakers Singapore


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