University of Maryland University College
Critical Thinking Individual Paper
In the memo written by Mr. Arturo Romano to Ms. Charlotte Greyson, he wants to show her that it is not viable to “establish and fund a new leadership development program” (A.Romano, personal communication, November 12, 2012), like Ms. Felton suggests. In order to break down the memo and see if everything that is said in the memo is correct, I will be using the techniques that authors Keeley and Browne teach us in their book Asking the Right Questions. The authors teach us in order to be critical of something we must ask the right questions to dig through what we are reading and “be able to make a decision if we believe what we are reading or not” (Browne & Keeley, 2011, p 5). The book teaches you to critically dissect a topic rather than taking in mindless amounts of information, but what to do with that information such as figuring out the reasoning, the issues, and values. I will be using Asking the Right Questions book to break down all parts of this memo. The end result of breaking down the memo is to see if I believe what the conclusion that is wanted or not. Benefit and Manner of Asking the Right Questions
In the background segment of the memo “the director of operations suggested that Crawford Heckler Consultants of Manhattan (CHCM) establish a leadership-development program to prepare junior program executives for future advancement into executive positions.” When heading into a reading as said in Browne and Keeley’s book, you must first “pan it for gold” or ask yourself “many questions that are designed to uncover the best available decision” (Browne & Keeley, 2011, p4). With the panning for gold approach, I want to ask why are we sending them to this off-site location at 100k a year. Why do we not spend that money and build a training facility right here, and at the same time keep them at work with us? Also, Mr. Romano, mentioned in the memo that Martin Luther King was a great leader but yet he was only 5’7”, and is not mentioned in the heights category as a great leader. What are the issues and conclusions?
An issue, as described by Browne & Keeley is a “question or controversy responsible for the conversation or discussion. It is the stimulus for what is being said.”(Browne and Keeley, 2011, p. 19) The issue in this memo is that Mr. Romano believes that training is not needed because leaders are born, not made. He also believes that spending that much to train junior managers is a waste of company resources as the company is seeing a growth rate of 12% per annum already. The conclusion is, Mr. Romano, doesn’t feel that sending junior executives to leadership training will have a huge impact on the business. He feels that company should hire people that fit the “mold” of a leader. He is also worried that, Ms. Felton is out to push her ideas on to their company and discredit his work. Mr. Romano seems to have his own interests at heart and not the company’s as a whole. What are the reasons?
The reasons as described in Asking the Right Questions are needed to know how Mr. Romano reached his conclusion and, more importantly, why. Mr. Romano used keywords such as studies, support, and exception as described by Browne and Keeley in their book as key words to look for when looking for what are the reasons. Mr. Romano’s reasons are the following; he surveyed the “senior staff and all but one agreed”, “that leaders are born, not made.”, “all members of the senior staff are over six feet tall with one exception: Ms. Clarice Felton”, “Two well-respected research studies”, he says, “support the notion that personality traits can predict leadership.” Mr. Romano’s reasons as a whole point us back to the conclusion that he is worried that this may actually work and he tries to cover it up by using the company’s success. The company has been in business for 50+ years and none of the top executives have...
References: 1. Browne, M. N., &. Keeley, S. (2011). Asking the right questions: A guide to critical thinking. (10th ed.). New Jersey: Longman.
2. Hartigan, R. (Director) (2011). Importance of critical thinking for managers Retrieved from webtycho.
3. Hill, L. A (2004). New manager development for the 21st century. Academy of Management Executvie, (vol.18), 121-126
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