Every day — every minute in fact — we’re battered with questions.
Some days can feel like the batting cages — choices, decisions, questions — speeding at you 70+ mph. You can swing, watch the ball pass you by, or take the hit.
It can begin to feel like this as a leader. No matter how high you rise on that professional ladder, nothing seems black or white. No easy answers. Everything floating, frustratingly, in that gray area. And you notice you’re in the big leagues now — no more batting cage. You’re on the field, bases loaded, two outs, two strikes, three balls — and a million eyes on that next swing.
Most typical leaders ask: What do I do? But you’re no typical leader… and these aren’t typical times. Where to find the answers we need under pressure — and the wherewithal to trust them when they finally appear.
There are millions of articles out there on collaboration and how to listen to your team’s, your people’s, your company’s ideas (no exaggeration… google the words “leadership and collaboration” and you’ll get about 253,000,000 results). Don’t get me wrong, as a leader, valuing others’ opinions and ideas is essential: you’re not an island nor are you working in a vacuum. Going it alone rarely works out, for anyone.
But, beware. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of voices. You spend so much time considering the opinions of others, we forget to own our own voice — your own personal Ouija board.
Play with me here — you remember the Ouija board! Around since 1894, it was originally used to communicate with the spiritual world. I know, I know… whatever your beliefs on séances or communing with otherworldly spirits, think of your inner Ouija board as the guide you’ve been searching for to declutter all of those questions and choices flying at you. Every leader has a place within themselves that they can tap into to — a place of deep intuition and knowing. The answers you receive there may not be straightforward. They may be game changing (the best kind!), bold, and completely freakin’ terrifying. But they are likely also an honest reflection of who you are committed to being as a leader and human being. How would you ever answer the deep questions we all wrestle with, if you ignore your inner voice and refuse yourself deep reflection?
From Bill Gates to Danielle LaPorte, big, bold, brilliant leaders lean into their intuition. And for good reason: it’s been proven that brain activity indicating that a decision is being taken precedes consciously going through with that decision. Which means we often make our decisions with our gut first and then apply logic to those decisions later. As good leaders, we must develop our unconscious mind even more so than our conscious one — so that when we make those important choices, we’re using our strongest muscle.
Imagine yourself in front of a Ouija board right now: your fingertips resting on the planchette (the heart-shaped piece of wood that guides the board) and you’re reflecting on an important choice in your leadership and/or organization. You know the decision I’m talking about. The one that keeps you up at night and invades your thinking, day after day. You ask the board, “Who should I be in this? What is my next step?” and along with a deep breath in and out… the answer is spelled out in front of you (aka, from within you!).
Trusting yourself — learning to listen to your own inner Ouija board and heeding your own advice — won’t be easy. You’ve spent a lifetime shutting your Ouija board down and erecting barriers against it. I know… I get it. At one point in my life, I was also afraid of the power (and answers) within that Ouija board. Of believing myself, my voice, my leadership, my heart – knows something — and has something worth listening to AND taking action on.
Eventually, I got tired of the barrier building… along with the distrust and disconnect that came with those barriers and made a conscious choice to go deeper. The good news is my Ouija board is wildly brilliant — and has a whole slew of incredible kick-ass leadership lessons and experiences planned for me.
And my inner Ouija board tells me yours does too… !
Interested in tapping into your own inner knowing? Use these actionable steps to start your journey:
- Face the fear. Feel it, acknowledge it. Turn the volume down on that negative talk.
- Turn up that inner, quieter voice. Imagine it as an actual switch that you’re consciously increasing in volume, bit by bit.
- Tap into what you hear. (Totally lost? Try a little guided meditation). Put those words on paper.
- Put those thoughts into action. This is where typical leaders stop. Not you — this is where your power lies.
Powerful leaders don’t take their eye off the ball. They swing, even when they know they may miss. They take risks — because they believe in something deeper within themselves. In their gut. Their intuition. That inner “Ouija board” that is guiding them.
So fellow leader… what is your inner Ouija board trying to communicate to you?