What’s your dominant leadership style - Physicist, Philosopher or Mathematician?

Article by Ken Thompson, last updated May 2022

Have you heard the one about the Physicist, Philosopher and Mathematician?

A physicist, a philosopher and a mathematician are on a train.

The train crosses the border into Scotland and they spot a black sheep in a field. 

Physicist: "That proves it - Scottish sheep are black!"

Philosopher: "Nope - all this proves is that at least 1 Scottish sheep is black!"

Mathematician: "You are both wrong - this only proves that there is at least 1 field in Scotland with at least 1 sheep which is black ... on at least 1 side! "

Do you know your dominant leadership style? 

How might you flex your style to make it more effective for you in different scenarios?

Physicists are strong in their pragmatism and in getting things done quickly.

However physicists can often overlook some important gotchas which bite them later on. 

Mathematicians have amazing attention to detail and spot problems others might miss.

However mathematicians can succumb to the temptation of paralysis by analysis and miss important deadlines. 

Philosophers are a bit of both - enough detail to avoid disasters but enough pragmatism to meet required deadlines. 

Team-based Business Simulations are a great way to expose your leadership style and get instant 1:1 feedback from an experienced facilitator.

Then you can have some fun flexing your style, e.g if you are risk averse having a risk appetite or vice versa.

And all of this in a safe and forgiving environment!

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More about Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson

Ken is a practitioner, author and speaker on Leadership, Collaborative Working, High Performing Teams, Change Management, Project Management and Business Acumen. His work has featured in major publications including The Guardian , Wired Magazine, The Huffington Post and The Henry Ford Magazine. Ken has also spoken at many international events including TEDx, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Learn Tech (London) and NASA.

Ken is Founder of Business Simulations Ltd.

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