A Daily Dispatch from the Front Lines of Leadership.


Genius Simplifies the Complex

Harvey Penick was a teacher many of whose students went on to achieve great things in the game of golf. Penick’s “Little Red Book” is the best-selling sports book of all time for one reason: He simplified the complex. 

Let me tell you an academic secret: Anyone can make something more complex, but it takes real genius and insight to make it simple. Any time someone offers you what they call wisdom or insight, put it to the simplicity test. If the idea or insight requires a lengthy explanation, a host of charts and diagrams or abstract and dense language it may prove valuable, but it is not yet wisdom. 

Be suspicious of any argument, video, book or treatise that requires more than a few minutes or a few paragraphs to outline the insight the author is promoting. Parsimony is one of the cardinal virtues in the exchange of ideas. Strive to be parsimonious in your own ideas and explanations and hold other accountable to the same standard. 

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