Crippled CEO Blog #120:
The “basics” don’t get enough appreciation. Often, we think that the simplest way to do something can’t be the best, which is often not true — complexity doesn’t equal superiority. Or, just as often, we think that something that sounds simple must also be easy.
But in many scenarios, this just isn’t the case.
I have a perfect example in business.
I say this at Life Saver all the time. If someone is new, they think that I’m being sarcastic or I’m joking.
More seasoned Life Savers, however, know that I’m being 100% serious.
Counting is hard.
That sounds silly, right? How could counting be hard? We learn how to count in preschool. When being taught a new language, counting is one of the first things that we learn. Very few things are more simple than counting.
So, what do I mean?
Life Saver manufactures things. That means we have a lot of different stuff in our warehouse. In order to stay on top of what’s what, we take regular inventories of all of the various components and finished materials that we have in stock. This requires counting.
Because counting seems so simple, managers will often delegate it to a lower tier person. And often, whoever does it, underestimates how difficult it is going to be, which inevitably results in mistakes.
Because this happens so consistently, I try to warn people that “counting is hard.” But nobody believes me. It sounds so easy. I must either be kidding or I’m out of my mind, they think.
And then they screw it up.
Simple doesn’t always mean easy.
Doing 10 push-ups a day for a year is simple. It’s not easy.
Meditating for 15 minutes every morning is simple. It’s not easy.
We need to get it into our heads that simple things can be very, very difficult, so that we approach them with the respect that they deserve, so we aren’t caught off guard by how challenging they are, and we don’t beat ourselves up overly much when we stumble.
Because counting actually is really hard.
(Do you know who never wants to keep things simple? Your mom, of course. She also gets a text from me every Sunday with a link to the latest blog post. Send a text to 561-726-1567 with the word CRIP as the message to get a link to the blog as soon as it’s up.)