Essential Reads – Leading From Your Gut


Leading From Your Gut

Dr John Townsend

Leading from Your Gut : How You Can Succeed by Harnessing the Power of Your Values, Feelings, and Intuition

Leading from Your Gut is built on the premise that to be really successful, you need to draw on the power of both - your external world, and your internal or intuitive world. Most of us are familiar, and reasonably good, at harnessing the power of the external world - facts, data, logic. However, our ability to access our inner world - the world of values, emotions, intuition is not as well developed. While not infallible, this complementary source of information, is highly significant and valuable, especially in the areas of leading, relationships, and decision making.

Leaders who want to keep growing, to be equipped and empowered for the next level, must know how to utilize all the resources and tools available to them.

- Dr John Townsend in Leading From Your Gut

The author makes a useful distinction between intuition (which is intentional or deliberate), instinct (innate and not grounded in learning), impulse (a strong and abrupt emotional drive), and "spiritualization" - the tendency to use one's faith to avoid making tough decisions (a.k.a waiting for divine guidance).

The book starts with a look at values, and how they are the "bedrock of leadership", and provides some guidance on how to determine your own values. The author makes a case for putting your personal values ahead of organizational values. In his words,

Leaders who want to keep growing, to be equipped and empowered for the next level, must know how to utilize all the resources and tools available to them.

John Townsend, in Leading From Your Gut

This is one part that did not really resonate with me. Sure, it makes sense for small organizations that are an extension of the founder. Also, we all know how a strong leader's values influence how an entire organization thinks and acts. However, I don't think it is necessarily a good thing - and goes against my own belief that the organization should be greater than any one individual. Also, what if you are not the leader? The author does address this - but not entirely satisfactorily in my view.

The author goes on to look at the other important aspects of thought, emotions, relationships, and transformation in an engaging and methodical way, with enough stories and examples to illustrate key principles.

The book is classified in the Christian Self-help genre. While the book has quite a number of Christian references, which is not a surprise given the author's background, I think it has a lot to offer that applies in a broader / secular / corporate setting.

Overall, definitely worth a read.

Essential Reads* : Leading from Your Gut by John Townsend

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Narayan Kamath

I'm a Leadership Coach and Mentor. I help successful leaders take their leadership to the next level. My mission is to make positive and significant impact in the lives of at least 100,000 people by 2020 - by helping them unleash their true potential to achieve greater success and fulfilment - at work, and in life.

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