"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

The Fallacy of Reductio ad Absurdum

fallacy of reductioReductio ad absurdum is Latin for “reduction to absurdity” and refers to a common form of argument whereby something logical is carried to a ridiculous extreme in an attempt to undermine its correct application.

Example: Clean entry mats for our clubhouses and apartment leasing offices are a hot button for The Collier Companies. Crisp and clean is the first impression we wish to create for potential Residents and clean entry mats are big part of that. I get pushback from some who say that my focus on clean entry mats leads community managers to vacuum them several times a day with the implication that this is at the expense of other, more important duties.

Nonsense! Implicit in every assignment, in every job description is the concept of balance and the ability to have a basic understanding of the priorities of the organization. There is always a better way. And where there is a will, there is always a way. Argue for your excuse and it is yours.

Closing quotes:

“Performance stands out like a ton of diamonds. Non performance can always be explained away.”  — Harold S. Geneen; 1910-1997, CEO of ITT, 1959-77

“Don’t tell me how hard you are working, tell me what you got done.”  — James Ling; 1922–2004, former head of Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) Corporation

“So easy when I want to, so hard when I don’t.”

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