Don’t Overcomplicate Leadership

The Need for Simplicity

Most afternoons, I scroll through LinkedIn reading various posts and articles under the #teams hashtag. Some days, I’ll find a real gem in there but some days I want to throw my iPad across the room.

Some of the advice is just so complex and highbrow that I struggle to digest it. And this is my specialist subject. I ask myself why it has to be so complicated? Business leaders are busy enough without having to worry about the intricacies of the latest leadership or organisational change model.

Vast tables of data and endless examples of what you should do or say in a particular situation are forgettable. Jargon is unnecessary. Pages and pages about your childhood experiences and how they prepared you for life are boring. Nobody cares.

Keep It Relevant

I strongly believe that we need to get back to basics when it comes to leadership and team management. Sure, much of the leadership theory out there is highly relevant and I’ll be discussing many of the best bits here in my blog. But if a model or theory cannot be easily understood and recalled, it becomes superfluous.

I don’t know about you but I’m becoming a little bored of tedious stories of underdog basketball teams finally making it good and humble CEOs learning valuable lessons from the office’s maintenance guy. Let’s have more examples from real life please. We’re not all founders of Fortune 500 companies or MVP baseball pitchers. Especially if we’re not from the US. Myself, I prefer snooker.

It Really Can Be This Simple

What makes a good leader doesn’t even need a model or theory to describe it. Much of it is simply about how we treat others. It’s quite shocking how badly some managers treat their staff and colleagues. Frankly, it’s unacceptable. So, before we wax lyrical about some new management fad, let’s get the basics done right first.

A simple piece of leadership advice that is so often forgotten comes from the master of 90s daytime television, Jerry Springer.

“Till next time, take care of yourselves and each other.”