"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
I have found that throughout my personal and professional life there are times when I can over complicate anything!
From how to get a project done to meet the client deliverable to who should sit in what seat at a party I am hosting. Why? Why do I or we tend to overcomplicate not just the hard things but the simple things? For me I believe it is because I can tend to over think things. Sometimes a good attribute but other times...not so much.
The words of General Powell reminded me that on the path to being a great leader the skill to "simplify" must be practiced. No one is perfect and success at mastering this skill does not come overnight or without moments of set back...but...it can and should become part of a leadership skills toolbox. As with many skills it is also one that once adopted will deliver benefits in both your professional and personal life.
How many times do we experience chaos or derailment of things because too much time is spent on trying to figure out what someone else thinks, predicting the future outcomes if we choose A over B, or becoming too emotionally connected. Now I tear up at a good Hallmark commercial so I am not advocating becoming a robot void of emotion. Nor I am stating to simplify means just following the pack and not having an opinion.
What I am suggesting is that as a leader one must become the voice of reason. Either with yourself or with the team. Practice simplifying the next time a decision is taking forever or so it seems by very simply (pun intended) breathing! Take the time to stop and breathe and refocus on what the desired outcome is. Listen...truly listen to either yourself and/or the team. We do a poor job of actually listening-we listen to respond not to understand. What is the overwhelming sentiment or message being delivered and how can you get you or the team to the desired outcome or solution. Know you will feel doubt at times and not every decision works out 100% of the time but I have found that if I do these things more days then not I am able to simplify whatever needs to get done ahead of me.
Remember....anything is possible!