A Rational Approach to Your Personal Leadership Development

“A Rational Approach to Your Personal Leadership Development”–sounds very formal, doesn’t it? The word rational hints of logic and science. Serious stuff. Rational also has a strong connection to mathematics where a “ratio” is a relationship between two numbers of the same kind. For example, we can speak of the ratio of women to men in the US Congress. I like to visualize a ratio by imagining an assayer’s scale–

If we were to put women on one side of the scale and men on the other, the scale would be heavily tilted toward the side with men. The ratio of women to men in the current US Congress is 1:4.5 (there are 4 and 1/2 times as many men as there are women, 439 to 96).

As you develop your personal leadership style, it’s important to have a clear idea (another sense of what it means to be rational) about how you “rationalize” work for both yourself and your staff. Does work for you mean that play and humor have no place? (That’s why they call it work…). Or does play and humor have a place, a proper ratio within the hours of work? (Work is serious, not solemn).

Should we spend time at work because there are “work hours,” e.g. 9am to 5pm, or should we work the hours it takes to get our work completed? What should the balance (the ratio) be between work-life and home-life? Between planning the future and tending to the present? Between training and execution?

As a leader, do you feel these questions should be discussed with members of your staff or should you decide? Perhaps it is your duty to carry out the reasoning/habits/customs of your organization without question or compromise?

Not too many years ago the answer to the last question above was yes. But that was then and this is now. As you develop a rational approach to your personal leadership, I believe you need to ask all the questions above. And, if you activate the brilliance of your team to help you think about these matters, you may find some unexpected, powerful and effective answers.

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