March 28

Most of the difficult people you work with—clients, peers, managers—aren’t trying to make your life more difficult. They are just normal people trying their best to do their jobs, and by doing so, they unwittingly make your life more challenging. The truth is, you probably do the same thing to others without even knowing it. This is especially true if you lead a team.

On their own, many of the decisions that you make seem simple and appropriate. However, when you begin to layer those decisions on top of the other decisions you’ve made, a web of complexity emerges. Very rarely do new systems or processes get removed when a new one is added. Instead, they just layer on top of each other. The same principle applies for every voice added to a project. Each perspective layers on top of the others, adding complexity.

Is there any way in which you are adding unnecessary complexity to your work or that of those you work with? Don’t mindlessly add another layer.

Unnecessary complexity often builds one layer at a time in unnoticed ways.

Is there any way in which you might be contributing to unnecessary complexity in your work or with your team?

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