Scott’s Thoughts: Impress with Simplicity

A screw, a simple machine

A simple machine. Elegant and functional.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) painter, engineer, musician, and scientist

There’s a salty old phrase in sales that goes, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with B.S.” The practice is certainly older than the phrase, and I wish both would go away permanently. Building a solid reputation isn’t about dazzling or baffling. It’s about planning and executing well every time.

Sometimes we feel pressure to demonstrate our “sophistication” to clients and co-workers in the strangest ways. You might be familiar with a few: Long listing presentations and meetings in which we talk too much, complicated marketing plans with charts and overblown jargon, and a preponderance of gadgets which we spend more time configuring than actually using.

Part of productivity is about streamlining systems. “Nothing but the essential” is a good guideline to follow, as is the saying, “Great design is about taking away, not adding.” While there’s no harm in learning about new systems and new ways of approaching old problems, there’s nothing more important than recognizing when something is truly useful versus when it appears to be useful.

Show your sophistication through simplicity of your systems. Results are bound to impress over all.

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