Simplicty: Does it Matter?

Things have a tendency to get complex, don’t they? So what is the value in simplifying it down? I’ve argued for a while that there is great value in simplicity and excellence. Not simplicity in the sense of watering down an idea or organization, but simplicity as an art. The art of taking the complex and taking it to just the right place. Like sculpting, it’s the art of reduction. Chiseling away at something until you reach the perfect focus, and unleashing your full potential there for maximum impact. Here is what a diverse sampling of others have to say on the subject:

“Understanding the importance of simplicity is critical to your success.”

-Mike Myatt, Top CEO Coach and President at N2Growth

“Simplicity liberates. Complexity Kills. Simplify or Die.”

-Ali Davies, Business and Life Coach

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers.”

-Colin Powell, Retired 4 Star General US Army

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

-Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist

“The chasm between idea and action is bridged by clarity.”

– Julien Smith, Author, Creative, and Consultant

“The task of a leader is to simplify. You should be able to explain where you need to go in two minutes.”

– Jeroen Van Der Veer, CEO, Royal Dutch Shell

“The secret of success is constancy of purpose.”

-Benjamin Disraeli, 19th Century British Prime Minister

“To stay focused in life… we have to pick between good and a little bit better.”

-John Maxwell, Bestselling Author and Leadership Guru

“Do less, and you’ll force yourself to choose between what’s just busywork, and what really matters.”

-Leo Babauta, Author and Creator of Zen Habits

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”

-Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian Renaissance Painter, Sculptor, Musician, Scientist, Mathematician

“Complexity is the thief of potential.”

-Ali Davies, Business and Life Coach

“Success demands singleness of purpose.”

-Vince Lombardi, Legendary NFL Football Coach

“If you can’t describe your strategy in twenty minutes, simply and in plain language, you haven’t got a plan. ‘But,’ people may say, ‘I’ve got a complex strategy. It can’t be reduced to a page.’ That’s nonsense. That’s not a complex strategy. It’s a complex thought about the strategy.”
– Larry Bossidy, Author and Chairman of Honeywell International

“Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.”
– C.W. Ceram, Archeologist and Author

“Dr. Albert Einstein and Coach John Wooden share a similar brilliance; specifically, both mastered the complicated art of keeping it simple.”
– Steve Jamison, Co-Author of Wooden on Leadership

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”
– Henry David Thoreau, American Poet and Philosopher

“The beauty and power of the research findings is that they can radically simplify our lives while increasing our effectiveness. There is great solace in the simple fact of clarity – about what is vital and what is not.”
– Jim Collins, Author and Business Guru

“The simplest ideas are the most powerful.”
– Dr. Joseph Murphy, Thought Leader, Writer, Researcher

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
– Confucius, Ancient Chinese Politician and Philosopher

“The power of simplicity in a vision has been demonstrated repeatedly throughout history. Simplicity ensures that a vision can be remembered by listeners and passed along to others, almost effortlessly.”
– James M. Strock, Author and Renowned Leadership Expert

What do you think the value in simplicity is? How should we pursue simplicity, as the holy grail or simply as a bonus feature? I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories.

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One thought on “Simplicty: Does it Matter?

  1. Ali Davies says:

    Am honoured that you included two of my sayings in the same company as some of the all time greats. Thank you.
    The whole simplicity thing is a subject very close to my heart.

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