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It’s complicated … or is it?

Nov 01, 2021

by Melody Stacy

 

Are you ready for a pop quiz?

No?

Good. It wouldn’t be a pop quiz if you were. 😉

Ready or not, here we go ...

  1. As school leaders, should we love our staff or have high expectations for them?
  2. Should we be the confident leaders in our school or should we have empowered teachers?
  3. As a team, should we celebrate our accomplishments or succumb to a sense of urgency to improve?
  4. Should we approach our work tightly aligned to our vision and goals or give loose autonomy for people be themselves?

Did you have a hard time choosing?

Good. That's the point.

As leaders, we are faced with countless decisions bringing infinite implications every day. Many of those decisions seem very complex and often seem to force a choice between contradictory options.

The most important aspects of our work don't fit into nice, neat checkboxes.

What if embracing the paradox could bring about freedom and clarity while helping us pursue greatness?

When we are comfortable mired in the mess of pursuing contradictory choices simultaneously, we have an opportunity to bring simplicity to the seemingly complex.

This is what Jim Collins refers to as The Genius of AND.

We love this concept!

We also love this that this leadership approach leads to simplexity.

Simplexity: (noun) The act of establishing a simple interface for something that is complex.

We all know how important communication is as a leader. When we open up our imaginations and add new possibilities AND clarity to a situation, we end up with a leadership win.

Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand. - Colin Powell

How about the next time we feel forced to choose between this good thing or that good thing, we step back and ask ourselves how we might embrace the paradox?

There is freedom and limitless possibility in the pursuit of simplexity.

 

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