“Beware the barrenness of a busy life” – Socrates
What is Simplicity?
The idea is to free up mental, emotional and spiritual room for things that matter.
There are many different takes on this idea of Simplicity. Most are about how to declutter things and organize stuff (as in Simplicity Part One). However, here are some lessons for personal leadership and advancing your career and life goals.
Over the years you have accumulated successes — and what else? Do you have “baggage” that is weighing you down? Do you find it hard to let go of some tasks, activities or behaviours that got you here but won’t get you there? Look at this in two steps:
- Lead yourself: Focus
Be crystal clear on what your goals are and make sure they are realistic. Is anything else creeping in that is distracting you from your goals? Have you carried over things that you used to do, but others should now be doing for you? Are you doing things ‘we’ve always done’ without checking to make sure there’s still a customer who wants it? Make a list. What can you do to let go of them?
In most cases you will need to say “No”, firmly and politely; you may have to get used to the idea of doing less. I said less, not doing badly or doing unimportant things. Focus on the critical few things for success and don’t let go. I remember hearing this story: When the first PDA (possibly Palm Pilot ?) was being invented, the leader had a plain block of wood made in the desired size for a hand held device; and overtime as, inevitably, the designers wanted to add amazing new doodads that were cool for engineers (but likely wasted on the average user), he would pull this block of wood out and say “no, this is what we’re making”. Keeping it simple.
- Lead others: Authenticity
There are mountains of information available on how to work with and get results through others. It’s not actually that complicated. It’s about how you show up, being fully present. This is something a good coach can really help you with. And, when you simplify your life by decluttering your stuff/distractions and keeping laser focus on your mission, you will have the time to pay attention to the people who are on that mission with you. I think Sam Parker captures it beautifully in “Lead