When you are flight training, one of the training exercises is recovering from unusual attitudes. This means getting the airplane back to wings level from a spiraling descent, or a turning power off ascent, or some other combination of unusual circumstances the airplane may someday find itself in (usually because of pilot error). The issue is that sometimes your body believes the airplane is doing one thing, but the instruments are saying the airplane is doing another. The whole goal of the exercise is to learn how to ignore the body in favor of the instruments. In essence, to ignore your feelings (sorry Obi Wan), and react to the data. This is hard to do as a pilot, and it’s hard to do as a leader. Often, we have a feeling about what is going on with our team. What we feel, though, may not supported by the data. So what do we do? Blame the bad data. Because we can’t possibly be wrong, right??? There may be another path. Put your feelings aside and go deeper on the data. Figure out what is bothering you by examining the exact intersection of your feeling and the data. Your gut may be right sometimes, but the data should have a bigger seat at the table.
Future leader speaker and author of the book Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future. Free stuff! Get the first five chapters of my new book, an executive summary, and the Future Leader Companion Workbook here.