October 18, 2008
Keep It Simple, Genius!

When I was in my 20s, I worked at the University of Virginia Medical Center. Initially, I was impressed when I heard the interns and residents spicing their diagnostic conversations with impressive sounding Latin words. It made me feel like I was in the presence of experts -- people in the know -- professionals to whom I could entrust my life should I ever get really sick.

In time, it became clear to me that the Latin name dropping routine was just a game -- a way that insecure medical students could instantly feel better about themselves, somehow justifying all those long nights of studying while, at the same time, raising their perceived value in the eyes of their overwhelmed patients.

It is not just medical students who are enamored of complexity. We all are. Somehow, in our over-caffeinated, multi-tracking, digitally-assisted life, we have come to equate complexity with knowledge. Complexity is not knowledge. Complexity is complexity. Simplicity is where its at.

All savvy business leaders I meet these days have a knack for keeping things simple. They demystify. They speak in the language of the people. They cut to the chase in a way that cuts no one in the process. And if they write a book, you do not need a translator to understand it.

My invitation to you today? Keep it simple -- whatever business you are in. You will feel better at the end of the day -- and so will all the people you work with.

Everything should be as simple as possible -- but no simpler. Albert Einstein

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo DaVinci

Our life is frittered away by detail... Simplify, simplify, simplify! Henry David Thoreau

Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art. Fredrich Chopin

There is no greatness where there is no simplicity. Leo Tolstoy

Nothing is true, but that which is simple. Goethe

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at October 18, 2008 06:56 PM

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