SIMPLICITY IS THE CORE OF THE PROFOUND CONCEPT OR INSIGHT OF A GREAT LEADER.
A leader who enlists himself among those that have made the greatest impact is one who takes a complex idea or situation and simplifies it. Thus, the insight of a great leader hinges on simplicity that draws in effectiveness.
Simplicity is the core of a profound insight or concept. It dispenses with unnecessary details and unearths the essential underlying patterns defining a complexity. Facing brutal facts, engaging in vigorous debates and asking incisive questions helps a leader to stand out this profound concept.
The truly great leader insightfully rallies his people and entire organisation around a simple but effective concept. Dissipating time and resources in pursuing multiple objectives is not part of his strategy. For Walgreens, that simple concept was generating the most profit per customer visit. Its stores and businesses were built around this simple concept that brought great prosperity to the company.
The effective simple concept that shepherds an organisation into greatness thrusts up by the agency of highlighting what they can be the best in the world at, not what they have been doing for decades, what facilitates sustained and robust cash flow and profitability, the key drivers in its economic engine, and what they are deeply passionate about. Wells Fargo transformed itself on this idea of a concentrated simple concept when it closed down its international operations and focused on the Western United States. They concentrated their resources on the crucial factors that boosted their excellence at dedicated operations, profitability and passion, not on feeding their ego. The insight of a great leader fetches the breath of effectiveness, not that of the ego.
Simplifying the key drivers of its company’s economic engine and systematically entrenching it within his organisation is the craft a great leader. For Walgreens, it was profit per customer visit; Wells Fargo, profit per employee; Gillette, profit per customer; and Nucor, profit per ton of finished steel.