Why Great Leaders Practice Simplicity

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By Jas Singh

We all want success. And nowadays, opportunity has never been greater.

Online businesses. Globalization. New industries and technologies being created literally every day. The chance to build that revolutionary app in 30 days. And endless resources available online to all of us – totally free.

Yet in working with over 30,000 of the highest achievers across 50 different countries I’ve noticed something ironic about what makes people highly successful. It’s never any of the complicated stuff – strategy, business skills or amazing foresight.

Achievement is always built on brutal simplicity.

It’s the obvious stuff, the basics, the fundamentals that the top performers do different from the rest of us.

The only problem is, most of us just don’t do it.

An example

Let’s take a real life example. Check out the following list:

1) Get up at 6am every morning and go for a 30 minute run first thing.

2) Work as hard as possible, with the most agreeable attitude for 8 hours a day.

3) Eat healthily throughout the day, drinking plenty of water.

4) Spend 1 hour a day learning something new.

5) Spend the rest of the day relaxing, resting and being grateful for what you have.

 

Nothing on this list is rocket science. In fact, we all know that these steps will improve our lives. Countless studies have shown that exercise, working hard and re-energizing are essential to success.

Yet how many do you do? If you are like most of the population, the chances are very little. But at the same time, most of us have never been busier than before – endless meetings, overwhelming workloads, never ending responsibility.

That is the only difference between great leaders and the rest of us.

Great leaders practice the fundamentals first.

They realise it is always the simple things in life that are important.

BTW it may be interesting for you to know that the above list is the daily action plan for one of the most well known serial entrepreneurs in the UK. A man who has over £500 million in assets and businesses in many different sectors. He has had the same daily action plan for the last thirty years.

The success formula is available to all of us.

The Paradox

So why the consistent inability to follow through? When we know that these fundamentals are so critical to success why do we tend to overlook them?

The greatest irony of all is that as humans we tend to overcomplicate things. Since our dreams and goals tend to be so big, we believe that the road to success must be complex. We must have to do something so complicated and groundbreaking in order to be rewarded with what we want. Otherwise, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

It makes sense, but how wrong we are.

It’s my experience in over ten years as a hiring specialist that it’s not the complex stuff but the simple things that the greatest leaders do different to rest of us. Wake up early every day. Work hard. Stay healthy. Remain positive.

But simplicity doesn’t necessarily mean easy. Sometimes, the most basic things in life  – working out, going the extra mile with a client, resisting that good-looking donut – do require initial sacrifice. Some initial pain. But eventually, just like mother nature herself, the simplicity becomes a unique part of us. It becomes a habit – and we grow each day as we realise that we are on the road to success.

Conclusion

Success is simple.

Experience as much of life as possible to find what your passion is. Set clear goals, work hard, enjoy yourself at all times, and look after your health and the people around you.

The formula for achievement is simple. Yet very few people apply it.

Hiring managers should ensure that whilst endlessly screening for qualifications, experience and competitor know-how they don’t forget to prioritize the fundamentals. Punctuality. Teamwork. Work ethic. A balanced lifestyle.

There are no shortcuts to success, just simple steps we all have to follow.

Will you practice the fundamentals?

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