Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Three Lessons Leaders Should Learn From Einstein

Imagine if our leaders were even nearly as good in their leadership as Einstein was in his fields of endeavor. While it may not be necessary, or even important for a leader to possess Einstein's genius, there are many important lessons that can be learned from the way Einstein went about his work and thought processes. Albert Einstein often spoke and referred to his rules of work. "Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Since without a doubt, Albert Einstein was truly one of the great minds, inventors and producers of all time, wouldn't it make sense if we got our leaders to gain insight and become better by paying attention to at least these three rules.

1. We have all heard the adage "KISS," which simply means keep it short and simple (or as I was taught, keep it short, stupid!). While there are often many issues cluttering a leader's horizon, true leaders must be able to set priorities and focus his attention according to them, making sure that he does not get overly absorbed/ involved in minutia, or bogged down in it. How often have you attended a meeting, for example, when major issues were glanced over, and the bulk of the time was spent on tangential, or at least, far less urgent matters? Great leaders do not explain needs by using techno - jargon or fancy rhetoric, but explain it simply, concisely and in an easily understood manner. Cut through to the chase, as is often said, and you simplify and enhance performance, in most cases.

2. The reality of leadership is that there will always be those that disagree, some who even disagree vehemently. Great leaders don't try to run away from, or ignore that discord, but seek to find common ground, or at least common goals, in order to create a far more harmonious situation.

3. While it is always nice when something goes exactly as planned, and is somewhat easy to get done, true leaders understand that it is often not the case. How someone handles the difficulty often determines how successful he might be. Does he look at these challenges as problems, or merely obstacles that create challenges that he will overcome? We all face adversity, but our greatest leaders have always used the lessons learned from these grant them an opportunity to better address needs, and to reformulate in a better, more effective and sustainable manner.

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