In an attempt to impress, have you ever made things more complicated than they need to be?
I’ve been guilty of using big words to compensate for my southern drawl. In those moments, I thought I could impress people with a more expansive vocabulary and convince them of my intelligence or, at least, distract them from my lack of confidence. I’ve also used buzzwords and descriptions that were confusing to compensate for an insecurity about a project or program. People may not have understood what I was saying, but maybe they assumed my work was important.
The older I get, the more impressed I am by people who don’t do this. I appreciate someone who communicates clearly, concisely, and intentionally—pinpointing the things that actually need to be shared.
Sometimes, we complicate things because we are insecure. Other times, it’s because we haven’t put in the hard work to simplify our thoughts. Right now, I’m working hard to avoid both scenarios.
So this week, simplicity is the goal.
“The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” – Albert Einstein
“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” – General Colin Powell
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Simplicity happens when we are confident about our work, and when we take the time to say what’s most important.
Focus on what you can subtract rather than add, condense rather than elaborate, and simplify rather than complicate.