Don’t be a dummy

Posted on March 1, 2009



For over 15 years, the “For Dummies” book series has over 150 million books in print with over 1,400 titles. 1,400 titles! The success of these reference books is unparalleled and has one of the most recognizable brands out there. Why is that? Is it because this world is filled with idiots that can’t change a tire or work Excel? No I don’t think so. The Dummy series has captured an idea that is a universal need across any culture, demographic, or occupation- Simplicity Sells. For many decades, there was a value in making things complex and detailed. Not anymore. People don’t have the time or patience to figure out, interpret, or get training on how to do something. Simplicity is a large part to why Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, etc, technologies have exploded in growth over the years. People want things simple, understandable, and concise. Many creative leaders compromise their influence because of the over-complication of how to do things. The real genius of leadership is to take complex issues, values, challenges, or situations, and to break it down to the lowest denominator.

One caveat, design should never suffer as a result of simplicity. On the contrary, your designs and creativity will actually benefit from making it simple.

If you lead a team of some sort, you will have plenty of people to bring complexity to your world. You probably have a boss or two that will also do the same. Complex thinking is in surplus in this world. Protect the simple.  Be the champion of simple. You can be complex in your thinking but be simple in your sayings.

Keep your leadership simple. By doing so you’ll avoid being a dummy.


Posted in: Simplicity Sells