Leadership Skills for the Port Manager

port managerLeadership Skills for the Port Manager 

Every decision you make as a senior port manager should be an informed one. When presented with a problem, you’ll want to look at all the facts and possible solutions. You may even want to get advice and opinions from the staff before making your final call. Is there something that you’re leaving out? What is your “gut” telling you about this decision? You might think that managing a port is no time for intuition or “gut feelings.” However, applying something called intuitive intelligence can greatly enhance your entire decision making process.

There are certain situations where you could benefit the most from utilizing intuitive intelligence. One of these would be during a crisis. As a port manager, you need to respond quickly, before the matter gets out of hand. There are also problems that bring together opposing forces, making it hard to resolve the matter without sounding as if you’re contradicting yourself. Then there is the problem that’s easy to get stuck on. In these situations, when things are a mess from the start, you are required to spring into action.

How can you apply intuitive intelligence in your role as port manager? Consider this five-step process:

 Step 1: Get Focused

As the problem is presented, you’ll want to take a moment to get focused. Think of yourself as a black belt karate expert who has to break a board with his hand. Before the strike, all your concentration is focused on that board and in shutting out the rest of the world. Using your intuition means being able to clear your head of noise and judgment. Don’t try to make sense of the problem in this moment, just take it in. You don’t have to go off for an hour to accomplish this. It really can happen in a few seconds.

 Step 2: Look at the Big Picture

There are a lot of moving parts involved when solving any port problem. Before pulling the trigger on your decision, take a moment to step back and see the big picture. You need to focus in order to sort through the clutter in your mind and find pertinent information. You might already have the answer you’re looking for based on a report you read weeks ago. Maybe a few moments staring at the Google Earth snapshot of your port will do the trick.

Step 3: Declare Your Purpose

Obviously, you want to solve the problem at hand. However, you need to dig deeper when calling upon your intuition. Solving a problem can have a ripple effect all across the port. You need to declare, in no uncertain terms, what your objective is in making this decision. Once that is “set in stone,” you’ll find your gut instincts kicking in.

Step 4: Use Your Moral Compass

You know what is right and wrong. When you engage your intuition, you’ll be depending on your moral compass to help you make those calls. Of course, you need to clarify your values as they relate to your leadership, before a crisis crops up. That way you’ll clearly know what extent you should trust your intuition, in regards to your final decision.

Step 5: Pull the Trigger

After you’ve assessed the situation and listened to your intuition, you need to pull the trigger on your decision. This has to be done with a firm resolve so that there will be no doubt amongst your staff about what they are to do. This is where genuine leadership comes into play and it will be your chance to prove yourself.