Insights into the power of instinct in leadership

2 mins

Why leaders need to trust their gut and follow their instinct

Is instinct one of your business superpowers?

For Nicola Kastner, CEO and founder of The Event Strategist, instinct is everything: “Trusting my instinct has led me to where I am today.”

How far can instinct get you in business? We asked five leading figures in the meeting and events industry what instinct means to them.

Instinct is an easily overlooked leadership skill

Christina Strohschneider works for the Austria Center Vienna as Sales Manager for Associations. She advocates for sustainability, collaboration, and supports young talent in the event sector. 

“Instinct is definitely a superpower. It is true that it can be an easily overlooked strength, but it’s a great advantage for a successful leader.”

IMEX Frankfurt education - forest room

Learn to listen to your inner voice

Tanja Knecht is a Brand Ambassador for IMEX and Founder of MICE Ladies and MICE IMPACT Academy.

“I base all my business decisions on instinct and then reflect from an analytical perspective. It’s a matter of trusting yourself. And learning to hear this inner voice; accepting it is more than just using pure brain. I believe you can´t teach instinct but access to it – and listening to that inner voice – is teachable.”

Instinct is as important as data insights in decision making

An expert leader with over 30 years’ experience, Dr Debbie Kristiansen has an extensive knowledge of the public and private sectors as well as the meetings and events industry.

“I’ve found that trusting my instincts has never failed me in my career. Historic data and insight are equally as important, but I do believe decisions driven by instinct are behind the biggest success stories in our industry.”

Eventstinct (event planners' instinct) – listen to that niggling feeling

Tahira Endean is Head of Programme at IMEX and is an experienced event designer.

“I call instinct in this industry ‘eventstinct’. Knowing when something is or isn’t going to work long before it happens. I have learned to listen to it over the years. If we listen to our human-centric instincts, we will always have events with strong outcomes that people enjoy more. If you get that niggling feeling, listen!”

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Empathy builds trust and relationships 

Kit Lykketoft is the Director of the Copenhagen Convention Bureau and is an advocate for legacy, sustainability, equality and diversity.

“Instinct, understood as emotional intelligence, has every place in business. Business is about people and between people, and empathizing with others is key in any relationship. Empathy builds trust. No trust means no business.”

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About the author

Charley Murfitt is IMEX's Content Producer. She is a proud advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion, sustainability and the circular economy.

Charley Murfitt

Content Producer