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Making Decisions in Leadership: I think, therefore, I am

Ergo Cognito, ergo sum ( I think, therefore, I am)- Rene' Descartes 17th Century French Philosopher, Mathematician and Scientist.

Man kicking Ego

The phrase 'Ergo Cognito, ego sum' has become Descartes' trademark. Descartes is known for championing the use of letters in geometry, what we currently call algebra. Descartes also formed a philosophical path, to separate mind and body.


He started with senses, in this he stated that perceptions of the senses can be misled, and that everything is to be doubted where possible. Descartes created the aptitude of understanding through reason as being the means to obtain knowledge. He tested assertions with reasoning to establish if any biases for clear perceptions. He understood 'I am, I exist' from the understanding that both mind and body entwine.

I relate to his assertion of Being as being dependent upon thought, that is, rational thinking, in correlation to my own background and that is to

question what others tell you, question information and look at various sources to seek and validate what the truth is before accepting it as having high probability of being true.
For instance, would you believe a salesperson highlighting the best selling points about a car? Yet the salesperson evade the questions or details that would highlight hidden flaws that could scuttle the potential for a sale.

Same could be said in the political arena, when details are necessary for both sides of the debate to make informed decisions so such a legislation could be passed. It is pertinent that we arm ourselves with enough information before making decisions.


Although I enjoyed geometry, I am not so much in favour of finding x or y, or other stated alphabetical notion for that matter! Which case algebra was never one of my strengths. I still struggle to know how such an alien relationship of algebra and geometry co-existed.

When we use reasoning to analyse information that we are given, we are entwining mind with body: the body of evidence outside of our mind.


Our worldviews, our knowledge base, how we do things and our way of knowing have progressed since Descartes' era and his ground-breaking work.

In life and in work, reasoning methods are being expanded beyond just mathematics, physics and philosophy to be incorporated in the ideas and strategies of yourself and others in your working team, or social group. Making use of technological innovations we process probabilities and logical methods to scrutinise and verify big data, crunching the numbers to add up to useable results before we make the next steps in our decision making process.


Leaders that have a sense of purpose and use their senses to build more and deep relationships, to be respected by others by first showing respect. Though being genuine, generous as well as generative, the leader shows others that they sincerely care by letting others clearly know and understand that using impartial reasoning is needed to make tough decisions. Even if the result is unpleasant, it is nothing that is personal.


a business woman holding a question mark

The ego must be considered when giving and explaining decisions to those who must carry out the requirements of those decisions. Descartes, seeing the condemnation that had occurred to Galileo, was reluctant to publish his ground breaking work. However, he had expressed his work in a communication style that was not too confronting, and an enlightened church hierarchy encouraged him to publish and so advanced forward the times from out of the then taught ancient Greek learning into the improved clear thinking of the modern era of science.

We use our senses in decision making to assist in visualising solutions, to see the what if's' are satisfactory, to use our intuition as a measure of what feels suitable.

We internalise our ideas to listen to self- criticisms, even say out aloud for others to hear for feedback and to assist in addressing those 'what if's'.


Sum, The Ego should be admired. As modern day leaders it is desirable to be motivated to be more genuine, to show authenticity, to be approachable and open in who we are and what we thus have to offer. Leaders appear to hold sensory perceptions above the usual that are in sync with the sensibility to do what is necessary and what is advantageously creative. We do what we can to influence others to inspire them and raise their self esteem.

Descartes personally believed that we needed to use our own senses and analysis, not a reliance on given authorities. (Who can argue with this?) (I find this idea like that of ZEN.)
He understood the concept that 'we know we are, so we know we exist'

The entwined sensory body is totally linked to the reviewing mind. Descartes was trying to purify and rationalise his perceptions of biases in the senses to make clear perceptions. Decision making in leadership requires: using your own rationalising and reasoning in order to know what is true; and using your own observations to have your mind in sync with reality. It is only by using logical sequences and the understanding of the signals from our body that we can reveal and examine biases.

A hand writing what's next in red marker and question mark

Attention! It's time to harness the transformative power of data analytics management and unlock the full potential of your organisation's data-driven decision-making. Take action now!

Very colourful chameleon on a tree branch

Catherine Halse 2019© updated 2023.



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