“There is always an easy solution to every problem–neat, plausible, and wrong.”—H. L. Mencken

One of the temptations of leadership is to look for the easy solution. 

“Work smarter not harder.”

“Don’t reinvent the wheel.”

Both true statements. Both reflect wisdom. 

But so does the statement by H. L. Mencken above.

Be wary of “easy” solutions. Listen – look – discern – pray – think. Don’t just leap on it because it’s easy.

“Easy” weight loss isn’t. To do something good in an unhealthy way simply shifts when and how you pay the price. Results now can result in a much heftier price tag later. 

And so too with leadership.

Leaders, be mindful of the fact that the best solutions often take significant work. After all, if it were easy, everyone would do it. 

Great leaders know that growth isn’t easy. 

Success isn’t easy.

Not much worthwhile is, really.

Don’t confuse easy with simple though. I’ve noticed that humans are wonderful at overthinking and overcomplicating things! I apparently have a graduate degree in this at times… 

Apple founder Steve Jobs said “When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.” Complexity isn’t the goal; the solution is the goal. And if you can get to what Jobs describes as the “elegant and simple” solution, so be it! But notice: his quote includes work. It’s not easy. 

Leaders solve problems. They might make it look easy at times, but it rarely is. And great leaders know that. 

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