It is right on the tip of my tongue, and I have searched the online thesauruses but I can't come up with it. What's the word that could fill in the blank:
He came to the ___ conclusion that you must be willing to serve if you want to truly lead.
The best I could come up with is "non-intuitive", but that just doesn't sound right. I know there's a better one. I want a word that means "this is not what you would expect", "this goes against your intuition". Something that approaches "nonsensical" or "irrational" but without the disparaging overtones, yet more forceful than "surprising".