Recently on a video which I will place at the bottom of this article, we talked about not catching the doubt train. The simulation is that you are on a railway station and the doubt train is coming and you do not get on it. Because once you are on the train all you are doing is managing doubt with doubt.
The simulation is perfect. If you have ever had the opportunity to be on the subway in the US, New York City, you will know that when a train speeds through station or even stops and then leaves again, there is a wind draft and a certain metallic smell that comes along and stays at the station even though the train has passed through. So whether you like it or not or whether you get on the train or not you end up with the fragments of dust that the train dragged into the station and left behind.
If you experience and moment of doubt and do not hang onto it, you let it go like the train through the station, doubt has done its work. This may surprise you. Most people think that that is their enemy but it is not the enemy at all. Doubt only becomes the enemy if you get on the train and start worrying about it. A moment of doubt is never about the thing that you are having doubt about.
Let’s say you are walking down the street and you suddenly doubt whether you really want to spend the time going to the shops to buy a new computer. The worry person will start to think that they might be making the wrong decision about even which computer to buy and they will get on the train. But if you follow this process of mental strength, you will simply smile and keep walking. When you get to the computer shop, you have already forgotten the moment of doubt. But the process the doubt set in place has already begun. In that moment, is the trigger for intuition.
If you then approach the computer shop with an open mind you will walk in the shop and walk up to the exact computer you need. You might be shocked that it is the most expensive one or even the cheapest one or not even the same one you were thinking of before. The doubt has triggered some form of intuitive knowledge that you have no conscious awareness of. What is important is to realize that the doubt was not about what you thought it was about
Take another example. You are about to do a corporate presentation that is very important to the team. As you prepare your notes you suddenly have doubts about yourself and your ability to deliver this important presentation. You might even say to yourself I am really afraid of this presentation. If you allow this doubt to pass through, like the train through the station, and shrug your shoulders and do not get on the doubt train on this topic, you might just go back to your notes at some point and find an error. So the doubt could have multiplied into worry, anxiety, stress about your presentation or it could simply introduce an intuitive awareness of something you need to say.
When you trust your intuition, you trust something bigger than yourself. It’s like trusting that there is a universe, or trusting that the Wi-Fi is operating somewhere in the house, or that your mobile phone reception is going to be OK. When you trust your intuition you are actually believing that there are sound waves and light waves all around you that you can tap into and come through you that are very important for the things you are working on. This ability to tap into your intuition is a very important part of business and relationship. But separating intuition from worry and projected anxiety is a very very complicated process and therefore it is not taught in MBA schools.
When I’m taking a group of people into the Himalayas, my knowledge of the mountains and the weather is not intuitive. I rely on Sherpas and my mobile app to tell me information that is not a guess. But there are some things that I cannot defer to other people. I also carry with me a blood oxygen measuring device, to measure the altitude adaptation of my clients so I am not putting acclimatization into the hands of the individual. That is a really important piece of equipment and saves lives. I also carry with me a recompression chamber, and sometimes if I have vulnerable people I bring with me a small oxygen bottle just in case my oxygen measuring device didn’t pick up something that happened during the night. Most altitude sickness occurs at night which is very unfortunate because one of the most simple solutions to altitude sickness is to walk back down the hill and lower the altitude which is very difficult in the dock. And so I use every available mechanism to avoid having to trust my intuition for the more gross aspects of altitude acclimatization with clients. Remembering that this is a life and death situation it is very important that I use every available science to help me avoid using my intuition regarding their acclimatization.
Now in business, if I were to apply the same principles it might be called micro managing. But if I am accused of micromanaging it is because I am worried about both the output in business terms and the individual in personal terms. But worrying about people does not actually fix anything. Micromanaging therefore is a clumsy process for what science can do. Artificial intelligence breaks down the decision making process into logical steps. And therefore instead of micromanaging people I can create a system to replace the guesswork. My estimate is that 30 years ago around 50% of labor employment was in the job of managing people. Manages manages manages managed people who managed people who manage people who manage people who manage people. Much of this has been eliminated in the process of understanding systems and the computerization of many jobs. But we have not even touched the sides of this topic. Artificial intelligence will eventually replace most people because most jobs can be systematized and the logic used to create outcomes can be automated. The old way of doing things will be radically changed as cost pressure drives companies to eliminate management. There is a radical difference between leadership and management.
Going back to the Nepalese example of being in the mountains with science helping me understand the acclimatization of an individual, I am still left with the role of leader. And as much as I trust the information I am given by apps and by my trusting individual managers, I still need to make decisions that are crucial. So I am left with leadership which cannot be automated. Each morning we sit for breakfast and I look into the eyes of every individual that is in my care. I can see in the glaze of their eyes whether they are acclimatizing or not far better than any oxygen meter. I can see in their movements far more than they know about themselves. If I ask people whether they are acclimatizing or not they will give me probably a more affirmative view of them selves than is real because they are enthusiastic not to be a hindrance to the group or be left behind. Showing estimating the capability of an individual, the individual usually over estimates it. And this stuff can’t be measured. Right here I am suggesting that I am using some form of logic when I look at a person to see whether they are safe and doing their job. But that is absolutely not what I am saying.
During the course of the day or night I will get a moment of death about somebody or something. I never trust those moments of doubt because some of them are coming from the burden of responsibility for an individual on a trip. So they could be based on fear. So I never respond to doubt. However I do register it and let it go through the station. Each morning at breakfast, each lunchtime, and each dinner time I make it my job to have a short conversation with each person individually. I treat each person as a healthy powerful acclimatizing human being having a great trip. But sometimes, during those conversations, there is a conflict between the way I perceive a person and the way I want to treat them. I am just letting my intuition do its work.
On one trip where I had far too many people for my own experience, I had done everything that virtual reality and artificial intelligence would have prescribed as a checklist for each individual and had done a lot of work to make sure that everybody had all the safety prevention mechanisms in place to ensure that no stone was left unturned in doing everything I could to prevent altitude sickness. Everybody for example, carried a water bladder on their back, instead of a backpack, so that they could remain hydrated to prevent dehydration, which is one of the major causes of altitude sickness. Each person had a bladder on their back and a tube coming over the shoulder right next to the mouth and all they had to do was to take a sip of water every couple of minutes along the trail and that would have been perfect. But at the end of one very hot day I noticed that one person, who happened to be a professor at a university, and therefore highly intelligent one would assume, had a full bladder of water. He also didn’t look very well. I asked him had he been drinking the water and he said no he didn’t like the taste of it.
So even after all this logical management process was put implies my intuition needed to be, tuned in 100%. Because I had turned my back and trusted the logic of management process, artificial intelligence leader ship, I had put one individual in danger because I assumed, that this person, the professor of a university, would follow instructions and drink his water. By the time my eyes had picked up the fact that he had not drank the water it was too late. He had altitude sickness and we had an emergency on our hands and he had to go back at night and then could not catch up to the group the next day and his trip was over.
So as a leader my intuition must be tuned 100% into the circumstances around me. As does yours when you leave the business. Even though you put in place management systems to govern the behavior of people and make sure that they deliver, the more this process becomes automated which is the future of business the more important it is for you as a leader, one of the few who will have a job, must be thinking 100% what does my intuition tell me? Even in this very simple example of the Himalayas, with a professor from a university, somebody with incredible intelligence, something very stupid happened which is the nature of human beings.
So as a leader this topic of intuition is really important. To understand intuition you must understand that doubt precedes it. But the doubt is really about the topic of the intuition. You may have doubt about the Apple you’re about to eat but it will have nothing to do with the apple you are about to eat. To this end it is very important to realize that intuition does not come from thought. Doubt comes from thought. Intuition does not come from thought. And so you can see there is a partnership between your mind and mind that you have no control of which we call intuitive.
It’s also really important to understand at this point in time that intuition is a very weak form of inspiration. Inspiration is a higher form of intuition. Intuitions a vague and easily mistaken for emotions, intuitions can be confused with doubt. But inspiration cannot be confused with doubt or with intuition. Inspiration is rocksolid. Inspiration does not come from you it comes through and the block to inspiration is stress, worry, anxiety, uncertainty, fear, and a big one, doubt.
Eventually on these Nepalese trips I learnt to get past using intuition. It was just not reliable enough. I began to trust my inspirations. With inspiration I know exactly what is going on with people around me. With inspiration I have more information about the weather than any app, even though I will always check. With inspiration I know exactly where every person is in the group in terms of their acclimatisation. With inspiration, there is no guesswork. For most people in the world inspirations come when they are in the shower or going for a walk and they are random. But through the process of the past years I have learnt how to tap into inspiration. I believe that inspiration is the key to business in the future as artificial intelligence will replace management. Wherever we currently micromanage situations we will use artificial intelligence to replace that micromanagement with the system
I created a process called organise, supervise, deputise. This is how I use artificial intelligence to create a system to replace micromanagement. I just don’t have time in my life to micromanage everything that goes on around me and so I create, continuously create, systems. I believe that anything I do three times the same is a system. This for me includes waking up in the morning what I have for breakfast my exercise program but it also includes how I coach people and how I can create automation in 90% of what used to cost me 90% of my time so that I can spend my time working with people add an inspired level, rather than spending all the time worrying about micromanaging them in a coaching process. What is quite interesting is the number of people who say to me how did you know that? And the fact that inspiration has a radio beacon that taps into human awareness from a distance is no different than saying I have a mobile phone and you have a mobile phone and all I have to do is get the number right and I am in communication with you. This is the power of inspiration, the power that every great leader will have to have in the future because all the management will be replaced with artificial intelligence systems, organised supervised deputised.
Are you ready to go to the next level? Because that is what I think, a survival instinct. If we know that all management will eventually be eliminated and automated, what will be left is leadership, and leadership is not coming from the brain, it comes from outside the brain, leadership cannot be intuitive because you can’t guarantee that it’s right, and so intuition will not be reliable enough to lead, what you will need is inspiration. Inspiration is a very different thing. If riding a bike up your local hill in your suburb with a helmet on and with a coffee shop around the corner is what we would call intuition, inspiration is in comparison, climbing Mount Everest, naked without oxygen. Big difference don’t you agree? And that’s the future. Entirely predictable. Oh, entirely predictable if you can tap into the inspiration of prediction. Are you ready for that?
With Spirit, Chris