A Blog by John Bossong

Monday Morning Leadership

Simple and Complicated

Leadership can be simple. Or, it can be complicated. Leading yourself seems simple enough, but it can be complicated. The key is simplifying the complex for the people you lead.

Below are four examples of leadership being simple and complicated with a leadership application.  There are many more examples but these four will give you an idea. Don’t forget to watch the video at the end.






  • Leadership is as simple as holding everyone accountable.
  • Leadership is as complicated as holding yourself accountable.

Leadership application: It’s easy to delegate everything and tell everyone what needs to be done. Then hold them accountable. The complicated part is holding yourself accountable for the results and not blaming or finger pointing.  Simple but complicated.

Resource to help you: Read QBQ! The Question Behind The Question. Outstanding book by John G. Miller about personal accountability.



  • Leadership is as simple as helping others succeed.
  • Leadership is as complicated as putting others ahead of yourself.

Leadership application: Leadership is about serving others. Serving those you lead and helping them succeed. This goes against our culture. It’s not about you or me, it’s about them. The people you lead. When you invert the pyramid and put yourself on the bottom, you serve. Simple but complicated.

Resource to help you: Read The Servant by author James C. Hunter. A great resource to help you focus on serving others as you lead.



  • Leadership is as simple as freely teaching what you know.
  • Leadership is as complicated as continuously learning so you can teach.

Leadership application: It takes self-discipline to constantly read, learn and grow. Complacency sets in and you feel like you don’t need to learn any more. Make sure you are constantly learning and growing. Be the best at whatever you do. As author Seth Godin says, be a Linchpin, be indispensable. Simple but complicated.

Resource to help you: Read A Game Plan For Life The Power of Mentoring by John Wooden.



  • Leadership is as simple as motivation and inspiration.
  • Leadership is as complicated as knowing what motivates and inspires the people you lead.

Leadership application: What motivates and inspires you doesn’t necessarily motivate and inspire those you lead. Find out what and how the people you lead are inspired. What motivates one person won’t work for someone else.  You have to know your people. Spend time with them. Get out of the office and communicate. Leadership is personal. Simple but complicated.

Resource to help you: Have the people you lead take the DISC Assessment.  It may cost a few dollars but it will give you an idea of the personality types and styles of the people you lead and work with. Although it’s not the only thing you should use to determine how you motivate your team, it does offer some assistance.

Here’s a great video that demonstrates how simple and complicated leadership can be. What’s simple for the dancing guy is initially complicated for the followers.

Leadership From A Dancing Guy

Key Thoughts From The Video

1. It takes guts to be the first person to start a movement.

2. Make it easy and simple to follow – instructional.

3. Make it about them (followers).

4. People will begin to feel left out if they don’t join the movement (Twitter, Facebook, iPhone, iPad).

Simple but complicated.

Have a great week!

What about leadership do you find simple but complicated?


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