Where Leaders Come to Think

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Accidental Simplicity


Have you ever made a poor assumption? You know, an assumption as simple as thinking everyone cares deeply about politics, and of course they are mad at the President? Sometimes it is best to keep your assumptions to yourself.  (Unless, agitating others is what you are into.)

So it is with me, and professional development. I naturally assume everyone wants to become a CEO, President, Champion, or World Changer. However, experience has proven that assumptions are not always accurate.

When discussing success with a friend, and what it would take for her to move into the big office, the role of CEO – I was shocked by her retort. “CEO – Well how did that work out for you?”

Reflecting back, I can see that my fifteen year tenor as a CEO was more like a roller coaster – than a cruise ship. There certainly were more positives than negatives, but the dips, drops and hard climbs back-up are what I remember most.

For most CEO’s this is normal life. For an entrepreneur/CEO, falls can be costly. However, thinking about my time in the corner office I realized that living through the roller coaster life of a leader has taught me something very unexpected. I accidentally stumbled onto the beautiful necessity of simplicity.

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

What does it mean to simplify? The word simplify is a verb meaning to reduce in complexity or extent. To simplify something is to make things easier to understand. When you simplify, you make things clearer.

Starting a career over after fifteen years in a role offers a golden opportunity to simplify. As your situation changes rapidly, you are forced to view life from a new perspective.

Leading others in anything is a profound honor, the good times are always amazing. However, on your way back up..or..over..or..wherever life takes you remembering to keep it simple might be the key to long-term happiness. I offer you a moment of reflection and my top five accidental findings regarding simplicity.

Five Accidental Findings Of Simplicity

  1. A friend told me once that money has no alleys. Boy was he ever correct. Money comes and goes as it pleases – I’ve learned to focus my energy on what is needed or of significant value in life. The less your happiness relies on money the more sustainable your joy.
  2. Find meaning in your work. Whether it is your job, volunteer time or personal life mission. Life is too short to work at something that doesn’t matter. In everything you do strive to make it meaningful.
  3. Remember to end your day in joy. Focus on those activities that help your heart come and stay alive. The world doesn’t need more producers, it is, however, desperate for more people with passion.
  4. Get outside and find beauty in creation. Strolling through the park as the choir of locust sing will leave you in a state of renewed happiness. Learning to love the simply things God has made will balance out the other negative inner issues we all tend to cope with.
  5. Foster your personal growth. Connect with God in prayer and focus your heart on gratitude. Growth happens when we nurture a positive inner life.  Cultivating a positive inner life is the most exciting journey you will ever take.

Stumbling into simplicity has been one of the greatest takeaways from my leadership experience. No matter where you are at in your journey it may be worth taking a few moments to consider the freedom-packed implications of simplifying your life.

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