Emotion Leads to Action

Logic leads to conclusion; emotion leads to action.

I joined a group of Niagara professionals at IdeaShare yesterday for breakfast and met some very inspiring entrepreneurs who had some great stories to share. The IdeaShare concept is essentially a Mastermind group (think Napoleon Hill – Think and Grow Rich) where a group of business leaders and entrepreneurs get together to discuss issues that are relevant to their business and the rest of the members provide advice and/or thoughts that might help them work through their challenge.

At the end of the meeting, Dennis O’Neill shared something he was told by a mentor previously in his life which was resonating with him – and it definitely resonated with me:

Logic leads to conclusion; emotion leads to action.

Logic leads to conclusion

I recently spent six years working for a major Canadian institution and this one simple thought immediately spoke to me. So often we focus on gathering data, collecting facts, and applying logic to be able to make decisions. In fact, I would say that gathering facts to get to conclusions actually took up the majority of my time in my old role. (Note: not criticizing my old organization – I’ve seen this time and time again in organizations of all sizes).

In the world of scientific management, we are most comfortable making decisions from facts and logic. But the result of those decisions often isn’t what we hoped for.

Emotion leads to action

If we don’t create an emotional story that connects people to the reason for a decision we will struggle to get people on board. They might be willing to follow process and procedure, but they won’t buy into the underlying “why” of the plan. Ultimately you lose the opportunity to adapt and accelerate as you move forward.

The power of “why” is the reason that the emotional story both works and is needed. That emotional story and connection are captured well in this TED talk from Simon Sinek – “How Great Leaders Inspire Action“:

Later, I had another inspiring conversation with a new contact who made an observation to me when talking about my career aspirations, experience, and approach.

Isn’t it a disappointing commentary on society that a human approach to leadership is a real differentiator these days?

I actually think that the two thoughts (and Simon’s TED talk) are closely related. They speak to the same underlying value that is incredibly powerful in both your career as a leader or in building your business.

Find the balance and connect with the emotion

Business has swung so far towards metrics and logic that we have lost touch with the underlying reason for all businesses. Businesses exist to deliver value to humans. That value can be in the form of an exciting and invigorating environment for employees to thrive and grow. Or it could be in the form of something that a customer values in their consumption of goods and services. Ultimately, it is the value created that has the power.

Value can be communicated with facts and figures or it can be communicated with emotion. If we can refocus ourselves on the human side of business we will enjoy more successes. It is the emotion that is going to create the action and buy in that we desire. After all…

People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it. -Simon Sinek

About Tim Empringham, MBA
Tim Empringham is a passionate advocate for Innovation in organizations of all sizes as a mechanism to drive growth, create uncontested market space, create new customer value, and drive efficiency into the internal organization. His focus is on disruption of thinking and markets through integrative thinking, structured Innovation frameworks, and leadership development of Innovation and Change leaders within the organization.

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