As I went to bed last night I thought to myself, “This 500 words thing is going to be fun.” By the time I woke up I was laying in my bed thinking, “Why did I do this? I have nothing left say!” And now I wish I didn’t start out by saying that, but the rules of engagement are very clear about no editing, so there is that.
I like to be someone who can simplify things for people in a way they are able to understand. I think it is very frustrating when you look at problem or a situation and see all these complex parts and you aren’t able to make sense of them. It can be quite paralyzing. I learned early in life that if you can break things into more manageable pieces then any task, no matter how complex, is achievable. One of the earliest examples of this I believe came from my grandma, who loves putting together puzzles. Not simple 15-20 piece puzzles, I mean massive 1,000 or more piece puzzles that take days and weeks to complete. The steps are simple and most people know how they would go about putting together that big of a puzzle, they just wouldn’t take the time to do it. But if you wanted to, the next step after dumping out the thousand pieces would be to separate them by edge pieces and middle pieces. Next you would probably sort them into color groupings and then you would find your corner pieces and start building your frame. Some of you might be thinking, “I would never start a puzzle in such a way.” Well, my grandma would so write your own blog about how to put a puzzle together! (Booya)
The point is, it is simple when you know the process. It doesn’t mean that each step of the process won’t take time, but as long as you know what the process is then you are able to complete the task if you give it time.
Sometimes we tend to take something that has a very clearly defined process and we muddy it up and make it way more complex than it needs to be. We start allowing all these other influences that may or may not know what they are talking about get us trying things and we don’t understand how they fit within our process that already works. When we allow that to happen it is extremely easy to get side-tracked and allow things to become complex once again.
This is leadership to me. What was once a very simple process became very muddy for me because I allowed different philosophies and structures to influence me without understanding how they fit into the process I already had established that was working. Lately I have been thinking of a time when I knew much less than I do now, but felt like I might have been a more productive leader. I find that very ironic that the more I knew the less effective I was becoming. What I am not saying is “education is pointless” in fact, I believe the opposite is true. What I am saying is that it is important to find a structure that works and stick with it and allow the new education to work within that structure. That is the piece I missed and so I allowed a lot of things jack with the structure I had in place. Leadership is actually quite simple. My philosophy is: leadership is influence. Relationships allow for trust and trust allows for influence. If you have influence, you are a leader.
I believe it is actually that simple. Let’s no longer complicate something that doesn’t need to be complicated.