Articles, Thoughts, More.
Articles, Thoughts, More. Eric Luoma    Co-Founder & CCO

When You Lead with Your Head and Listen to your Heart, Don’t Forget Your Gut

Today, the most effective leaders are the ones who strike a balance between a drive to reach business performance goals and a genuine compassion for people who have their own life goals. When making key decisions, they navigate these considerations beautifully, listening to the head and heart.

As effective leaders well know, the head helps make strategic decisions based on data, insights and economics. The heart helps with investing in people, being empathetic and making decisions that benefit the health and happiness of your team.

However, as we’re busy blending business and physiology, let’s not forget one more centrally located, kidney-shaped organ. Hint: it’s not the kidney. It’s your gut.


Sometimes, when our team at Fellow presents strategic and creative work, the entire client team instantly reacts with a smile or a “Heck yes!”, it is then quickly followed with “But we can’t do that.”

Ask yourself "why not?"

If everyone in the meeting reacted positively, wouldn’t everybody else including your audience and customer?

Doing something new and outside your comfort zone is brave and not without risk, but it can come with great rewards. Seth Godin, in his book, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, puts it this way, “Discomfort means you’re doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they’re hiding out in the comfortable zone. When your uncomfortable actions lead to success, the organization rewards you and brings you back for more.”

The same can apply externally. Brands that are truly differentiated move out of the norm and expected areas and into an uncrowded and unspoiled space–the space of a leader brand.

Add your instinct to the equation.

When faced with business decisions the numbers often don’t lie and data analysis provides the logical and rational way forward. It’s the secure and safe path. But if it’s brand distinction you’re after, add your instinct to the equation.

Next time you get that feeling in your gut, first, order Jimmy John’s to rule out hunger. If the feeling persists, trust your gut and make a daring decision.

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