Blog with Joel Brookman



According to Google, the definition of pragmatic is, “dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.” Over the past 20 years I have been studying the characteristics of successful business people with balanced lives. The most prevalent attribute they share is that they are pragmatic individuals. It also happens to be a skill that improves with age. If you had to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10, how pragmatic are you?

Characteristics of pragmatic people:

Practical—The pragmatist lives in the real world, he accepts it for what it is and plays the hand he’s dealt. When challenges arise he deals with them head on. He seeks the most efficient path either around the obstacle, or toward the opportunity.

Sensible—The pragmatic businessperson bases her decisions on real data. It’s not about the idyllic situation, nor is it about the worst-case scenario. She understands the probability associated with both, and acts accordingly.

Solution oriented–The pragmatist is focused on solutions. When he steps in shit he doesn’t dwell on it or find someone to blame. He instead determines how it happened so that he does not repeat his mistake. He then identifies his most effective next steps to get where he wants to go.

Driven to action–The pragmatic person understands that she needs to execute in order to accomplish anything. She’s not afraid of hard work but understands the difference between working hard and working smart. This makes her very productive.

Guided by logic not emotion–The pragmatic person does not allow his emotions to cloud his judgment. His decisions are rational and grounded in logic. Harvey McKay, the author of Swim With The Sharks, epitomizes this point when he talks about handling problems. Harvey’s logic: If your issue can be fixed with money, and you have the financial means to handle it, you no longer a problem, it is an expense. Write a check and move on.

Most people are not born pragmatists. The skill set can be learned and constantly improved upon. Experience has a way of honing this skill. Having the tools to effectively handle any situation not only makes you more effective in business, it has tremendous advantages in life.

Again I ask you, on a scale from 1-10 how pragmatic are you? Think of being pragmatic as a skill. What could you do to raise your score? Send me a note and let me know your thoughts,


Posted by Joel Brookman in Life balance, productivity, success and tagged , .


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