Leadership requires the simplest thinking and actions when facing the most complex dilemmas.
In fact, imagine a four year old facing your most pressing business or organizational issue.
It would be worth it if they did. Wielding the sensibility of a young, inquiring mind (the average four year old asks 450 questions per day) is a canny and refreshing way to cut through the clutter.
It’s much more typical to over think and over-engineer a solution to a big problem, particularly when it has a ton of attention. Launching task forces, emailing too many “stakeholders,” stacking excessive dollars / resources against it, or calling all-hands-on-deck, offsite, or brainstorming meetings are signs of meeting complexity with complexity, even as your intuition is trying to get your attention. It would tell you to boil it down: “what’s needed here?”
It’s an effective practice to imagine putting on a child’s “Thinking Cap,” rather than be seduced by the assumption that big issues require big solutions.
Pause, reflect, and ask yourself and/or your team:
- What would a child wonder about this situation?
- How would I explain it to a child?
- What then, is needed here? And what’s the first step to make that happen?
The Recovering Leader