Critical Thinking

Topics: Leadership, Critical thinking, Fallacy Pages: 8 (2738 words) Published: November 11, 2013


Critical Thinking Assignment

Introduction
Becoming a critical thinker is essential in today’s world and by reading “Asking the Right Questions” by Browne and Keeley the way you process information will be changed forever. The ten steps indicated in the book can [and should] be applied to anything you read or hear in order to get the most out of the information. Thus when reading Mr. Romano’s memo (A. Romano, personal communication, November 12, 2012) to the CEO of his company, Crawford Hecklar Consultants of Manhattan (CHCM), one cannot help but point out many blatant questions of importance. Although the reasons that Mr. Romano has given sound convincing at first glance, by applying the critical questions as instructed by the book, we can uncover many missing pieces and reveal other perspectives that will help us get a better and bigger understanding of the issue at hand. What Are the Issue and the Conclusion?

The issue that Mr. Romano is presenting is whether or not a leadership development training program is necessary for employees within his company, CHCM. As the Vice President of Human Resources, he is addressing this issue to the CEO, Ms. Greyson, due to a recommendation from the Director of Operations, Ms. Felton. The conclusion is stated very frankly several times by Mr. Romano. He believes and argues that the training is not necessary for junior executives for the organization and in fact that the training would be “wasteful”. What are the Reasons?

There are several reasons discussed by Mr. Romano in this memo that support his conclusion. According to Browne and Keeley, reasons are pieces of evidence that help you to evaluate the worth of a conclusion so these must be examined carefully as a critical thinker. The main reason presented is that the company should recruit leaders instead of developing them. Mr. Romano does not believe it is the company’s responsibility to fund leadership training because he states that leaders are “born, not made”. He illustrates his strong stance that recruitment is far more important by quoting in the memo, “There are plenty of people who are already leaders; we don’t need to “train” those who are not.” Mr. Romano includes many traits and characteristics that are inherent among leaders and even lists several leaders that share these traits.

Similarly, another reason is the financial burden that CHCM cannot afford. Mr. Romano cites that it will cost the company $100,000 a year (plus time lost by missing work) and that by spending this money, they would not have enough money for recruitment costs, which are a higher priority to the organization. This may be the most important reason he has given from the perspective of the CEO, although the validity of this is questionable.

A final reason to support Mr. Romano’s conclusion is that the company has been “prosperous, successful and effective” without leadership training for fifty years so it does not need the training. They have managed a 12% annual growth rate on average despite their lack of leadership training and their senior executives have not attended any leadership seminars. What Words or Phrases Are Ambiguous?

One can find several ambiguous terms within the memo that leave Mr. Romano’s logic open to interpretation. Presuming that the meaning of words are obvious within his writing can confuse readers because “most words have more than one meaning” (Browne & Keeley, 2012). For example Mr. Romano’s measures of his company’s “success” and “prosperity” may differ from how the CEO or others measure the results. Success can be based on sales, profit, growth, innovation, and many other things. What kind is Mr. Romano referring to specifically? He assumes that everyone has a collectively similar definition and view of this word and that there is no room for improvement. He also uses the word “effective” which is extremely broad. What are the leaders effective at? Driving higher revenue, meeting company...


References: Browne, M. N., & Keeley, S. M. (2012). Asking the right questions. Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Lindqvist, E. (2012). Height and leadership. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 94(4), 1191-1196. doi: 10.1162/REST_a_00239
Tan, C. (2009, Aug 29). Tall people earn more. Suite 101, Retrieved from http://suite101.com/article/tall-people-earn-more-a141680
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