The concept of simple is not always simple! DaVinci noted that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and Einstein said: “If you cannot simplify things and explain them in a simple way, you don’t understand your subject well enough”.
We tend to use jargon when we are unable to simplify things, and we use big words to sound important when we are insecure about how much we actually know. However, what is extremely clear is that when leaders have no idea what they are doing, they start to put theories in place about how things should be done. When someone develops a theory and there is no physical evidence of what they have accomplished, it’s exactly that – just a theory.
The most successful people get on and do it, they truly lead by example. The theorists, in an attempt to understand the success and justify their own inability, will try to dissect the process and simplify what has been accomplished. Often this results in a theory that lacks the very essence of success and that is the human connection of people. Without people in the equation, there is no success.
Theory should always be challenged by the following questions:
- Does your theory take into account the needs of people?
- Have you allowed people to do it their way?
- Can they exercise their own creativity in the process?
- Have you allowed time to interact, have fun and collaborate with others?
If your answer to more than two of these questions is Yes, you will realise that you didn’t need a theory in the first place. If your answer to more than two of these questions is No, why did you waste your time creating a theory in the first place? Realise that theories don’t work when people are involved. What works with people is a very simple understanding of human behaviour, and the only way we will ever understand that is to build real relationships with people. SIMPLE really …
Oh and here is another question to ponder … We often hear that companies spend millions on leadership development, yet very little will ever work. Have you ever seen a course in relationship development?