A rational leader must always propose themes that are logically understandable and explorable. It is essential that they are rationally "manageable" and that they can be discussed with the group. Teamwork must turn into a research and development laboratory for rational ideas and solutions.
As a laboratory, teamwork is not marked by a clear and precise path, but winds through a series of attempts, failures, and, hopefully, successes. What drives teamwork? Intelligence, simple and irreplaceable intelligence. The theme is that our intelligence lives in two different states, one potential, i.e. inertial, and one kinetic, i.e. active. What does this mean? It means that our intelligence is not always at work, that is, it is not always in kinetic mode, but is activated on the basis of certain stimuli that excite its attention and induce it to produce thoughts.
Rational leadership for teams
You, as a leader, are interested in always keeping your intelligence and that of your team in kinetic mode, i.e. productive. To stimulate kinetic intelligence you have to challenge it and to challenge it you have to give it content on which to practice. The contents, it goes without saying, must have a logical form. Let's start by clarifying one point, rationality and logic are the same thing. The term "logic" comes from the Greek logos and it means both speech and reasoning. It is not possible to reason except in logical terms. But what does it mean to reason in logical terms? It means reasoning by applying rules that are recognizable and valid for everyone. The logic is univocal, systematic and objective. Logic dictates that only one meaning is associated with a term, at least in the context of reference in which it is used. If this rule fails, the reasoning is no longer reliable, much less the person who formulated it.
Logic is the only tool we have to make statements that have relevance to the truth we want to affirm. To be able to formulate logical sentences, we must be used to thinking logically. What does it mean to think logically? It means moving clearly and unambiguously from thought to others based on the relationship that binds the same thoughts or propositions. The simple table below shows us the basic examples of logical thinking.
Communicating logically allows people who listen to us to interact on the merits of what we are saying. Being logical and rational means being generously open to criticism and contributions, hopefully, just as logical. What a leader says and proposes must always make sense. When we say that something "doesn't make sense", what do we mean? Which is not logical. If I were to say that all cars are white, I would say something that makes no sense, for the simple fact that in the space of a minute you would show me dozens of cars of another color. Logic also has its pitfalls.
The proposition all fish live in water (true), all dolphins live in water (true), so all dolphins are fish (false), is a typical example. To cultivate one's logical ability, one must learn to develop one's critical thinking. Francesco Bacone, an English philosopher who lived between the 16th and 17th centuries, gave a splendid definition of critical thinking: "critical thinking is the desire to seek, the patience to doubt, the passion for meditation, the care for an orderly arrangement of things and hatred for all forms of imposture". That's right, critical thinking is slow thinking (Kahneman).
It is thought that digs in search of the existing order to highlight it and make it visible, but it is also thought that puts order where there is none. A leader has the duty to develop his own critical thinking, to get used to formulating logical propositions. Logic has an extraordinary characteristic: it is not emotional and it cannot be. Our intuition, in fact, is far from logical, as well as our emotions. A leader has the duty to communicate without ambiguity, to lead the team's work towards a decision-making system in which the reasons for things prevail and not for individual emotions.
When we talk about the moral depth and integrity of a leader, we are talking about precisely this, of the indispensable correctness necessary to deal with issues that go far beyond personal interests. Fairness is the result of submission of oneself to the logic of facts, to which it is decided to give priority over one's own convenience and interests. If what has been established has the strength of rationality, not putting it into practice is only an immoral choice. I understand that it's more fun to experience your leadership as a rewarding moment of ego-boosting, but the truth is that leadership is, above all, a great responsibility.
If what has been established has the strength of rationality, not putting it into practice is only an immoral choice. I understand that it's more fun to experience your leadership as a rewarding moment of ego-boosting, but the truth is that rational leadership is, above all, a great responsibility. If what has been established has the strength of rationality, not putting it into practice is only an immoral choice. I understand that it's more fun to experience your leadership as a rewarding moment of ego-boosting, but the truth is that leadership is, above all, a great responsibility.
About the author
Giuseppe Ando is a C-Level & Executive Coach - Associate Partner at the acclaimed Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching. With a career that presides at the crux of the Venn diagram of Passion, Skills, and Experience, Giuseppe’s reputation as top executive coach has spanned decades. Among his many accolades, he is also recognized for his unique ability to understand and inspire those he coaches to excel professionally and personally while also delivering their organization’s desired results.