Heart of a Leader

Leadership Matters

Simplicity and Choice

“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” Henry Wadsworth

I have been consumed today with considering simplicity and it has left me confused. So I must be on the right track. Here is what’s bubbling up:

• Simplicity is that which is essential.
• Simplicity is hard to explain and easy to feel.
• Simplicity requires seeing the world as it really is.
• Simplicity is hidden from those who live in complexity.

I realize that I have more to learn about simplicity. As I have taken on writing as my craft, I take on simplicity as my way of living. The call of simplicity is compelling. It competes with a life of complexity I embraced as a pioneer in the world of computer networking.

I have brought new ideas, new stuff and electronic toys to my life without consideration for simplicity. The result has been that I become distracted in proportion to my lack of simplicity.

I have bought the story that all these time-saving devices are making my life better. Let’s see. What about a good pen, some decent paper and sufficient light? That’s all that is required to write. Every level of complexity I add draws me farther and farther away from that which I love. Seems like motivation enough to me to consider anew all that I surround myself with.

I did promise you words about simplicity and business. A great deal of attention is placed on efficiency. Here’s the truth – efficiency without simplicity is not sustainable. It’s like a wobbly wheel. You can keep it spinning with more and more energy but the cost quickly makes it inefficient.

Simplicity is about choice. Making choices about the best course of action that fits with what’s essential right now. Use the four points about simplicity as your starting place to feel what’s your best choice. These choices are always up for review. That’s simplicity. Anything else is the spawning ground for rapidly growing complexity.

Until Later,
Thomas

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