Bill Gates prefers to choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it. There’s wisdom in that idea, even though Gates says it to make a point about efficiency in thinking and not about rewarding lazy people.
The hardest way is rarely the best way, and too many people like to make things harder than they need to be.
The truth is there is nothing lazy about taking a more obvious or simple path to solving a complex problem or task. For those engaged in solving a problem, that means eliminating steps. Two actions are always superior to three actions in a solution.
Preferring more straightforward solutions is not a mindset reserved only for lazy people. All good leaders prefer uncomplicated answers, solutions, and decisions.
Making things easier when it comes to problem-solving begins by looking for the lowest hanging fruit. Instead of embracing the complexities of the problem, search for what is obvious and workable. Removing any unnecessary items, features, options, and actions while discarding any superfluous information is the recipe for simple.
Pairing a problem down to its essential elements is somewhat of an art form. Accomplishing it sometimes means removing a colleague who likes to add complexity and overthink matters from the process.
Making things simple is the hard work. Anyone can create a solution more complex than the problem requires.
Simple and easy solutions are elegant. Turning a complicated problem into a workable and elegant solution takes creativity. It also requires a preference for a straightforward answer. The best solutions are always simple.
Gordian knots are meant to be sliced with a sword.
We live in a culture that sees work as a virtue in itself, which leads people to imagine that any and all labor is valuable and that the more you labor, the more virtuous you are. As a recovering workaholic, I know that the virtue of work is not inherent and that smart leaders find the simplest way to solve problems. An excellent and import piece.