1.8 Pragmatic or Idealistic?

Posted by Mike Kaaks

02 March 2019

1.8 Pragmatic or Idealistic

I always think of politicians when I hear or see the word pragmatic. I don’t want to cast a bad light on the word, it’s just that I think that’s the arena in which I first heard it in regular use. That and diametrically opposed, and I see now that diametrically opposed is most appropriate when considering alternatives. Pragmatic / pragmatism lends itself well to the world of ideology. Structured belief underpinning all thought and action. Having interest in only one view of the world. I suspect that the left side of politics would like to see themselves as Idealistic, but their action is to make a reality of their world view by being idealogues just as are those who to whom they are diametrically opposed.

What I’m asking you to reflect upon here is not the deep philosophical divide between Pragmatism vs Realism, the question is about accessing another perspective on how you approach the things you do. The pragmatist’s battles will be about directly applying beliefs he or she holds, about the direct application of experience. A more idealistic person will be open to a wider range of possibilities that in business speak are likely to be seen as having higher risk.

Of people with these two views, who do you think will be more open to change? Is it the pragmatist or the idealist? Your answer to this in respect of yourself is likely to throw light on your experiences in project teams. What some will see as an enabler, others will see as a constraint.

Heart / Mind, Left Brain / Right brain, Pragmatist / Idealist; life is full of words that open the mind to a fundamental view of how we are.


  • Business-like
  • Efficient
  • Practical
  • Logical
  • Common sense
  • Matter of Fact



  • Romantic
  • Abstract
  • Radical
  • Utopian
  • Dreamer

1.8 cont

Even the most pragmatic person falls victim at times to a longing for something other.

– Kate Morton

Absolutely You