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A Rational Approach to Leadership and Management

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Posted 26 January 2016 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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A Rational Approach to Leadership and Management

The thing that separates you from all other animals, is your power to reason. It is your rational mind, that sets you apart from gorillas, monkeys, tigers and tadpoles.

Other animals are driven by two factors, their Instinct and the environment. But humans have an additional factor that allows us to do all the things that are distinctly human. That additional factor is the rational mind. It is the capacity to think rationally, to deduce consequences, to discover causes, and to think logically, that make us more than a mere, Naked Ape.

It is your rational mind that allows you to think about science, politics, economics, art, psychology, history, architecture, ethics, mathematics and technology. Animals can't do any of that, but humans can, because humans are the Rational Animal. Be a rational animal.

The advice I would like to offer is this:

Treat all problems and all people according to the principles of reason

Apply reason to every issue. And treat all people reasonably.

If you don't treat people reasonably, then you are treating them unreasonably, and NOBODY wants to be treated unreasonably. For best results, treat all people and all problems according to the principles of reason. The next question is.... what are "The principles of reason"?

Here are a few to consider.

1. Being a rational person means primarily: operate according to the facts, not your feelings

You know two things about the world around you: You know the facts, and you know how you feel about them.

But sometimes there is a battle between what you know to be the facts, and your feelings. For example:

Factually, you know you should do your homework. But emotionally you don't want to.

If you were a Fact-first kind of person, you would do your homework even if you were not in the mood.

If you were a Feelings-first kind of person, you would NOT do your homework, because you were not in the mood.

The point is this, the world operates according to the objective facts of reality. The world does NOT operate according to your mood. (As you may have noticed!)

So, a rational person complies with the facts; she does what she knows needs to be done, irrespective of whether she likes doing it, or not.

A non-rational, person does only what he wants to do, and he puts off doing things he does not like doing. An irrational person operates according to his mood, not his mind.

2. Being a rational person also means: be honest with yourself about the truth of the situation

Remember, facts are facts, whether you like them or not.

A rational person always looks honestly at the facts. Even facts that represent bad news. Even facts that seem to suggest your opinion was wrong.

A non-rational person engages in selective perception. They ignore the facts, they don't like. They evade evidence that contradicts their existing opinion.

They bend and buckle the facts to suit their assumptions. A non-rational person gets angry or upset when the facts prove him wrong. He fights all efforts to force a change of opinion.

On the other hand, a rational person is empowered to find out that his old thinking is wrong and is very keen to update his thinking and reformulate his theory of how the world works.

3. A rational person thinks first, then acts

Rational Rachel says to herself, "I will figure out what the right thing to do is, and then I will do that. I want to do the logically right thing."

A non-rational person acts firsts, and then, after he has acted, he tries to justify his actions. He acts according to whatever emotion is prevalent in the moment, and then after he has done something naughty, (because he felt like doing it, or eating it, or saying it) he then proceeds to try to justify why it was okay. Irrational Eric says to himself, "I will act according to how I feel. And then because I did it, it must be right."

In summary

Treat all problems and all people according to the principles of reason.

Being a rational person means primarily: operate according to the facts, not your feelings.

A rational person is NOT driven into action by their momentary emotions.

Being a rational person means be honest with yourself about the truth of the situation.

A rational person thinks first then acts.

A rational person does not act on whim.

Treat all problems and all people according to the principles of reason. We call this, Running on Reason.

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