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Simple, NOT Easy

Written by Rene Boer on August 28, 2014

Implementers EOS

Simple, not easyYears ago my wife and I bought a new home but couldn’t afford to add air conditioning. A year later I went to Sears and bought a central air conditioning unit. The unit came with a do-it-yourself guide with detailed instructions and clear illustrations. Although she was a bit skeptical about my handyman abilities I reassured her that the project would be easy.

Within an hour of starting the project I had a neat 2 inch hole drilled through an exterior wall, another hole cut into the furnace plenum, and I was wrestling the giant anaconda refrigerant tube through the wall to connect it to my furnace. Moments later, my wife took me to the emergency room to have a metal shard removed from my eye and I ended up calling a professional to finish the job. Lesson learned, that which appears to be simple is NOT easy.

The definition of “simple” is “not elaborate, not complicated, easy to understand.” Synonyms include “clear, intelligible and lucid.” The definition of “easy” is “not hard or difficult, requiring no great labor or effort, free from pain, discomfort, worry or care”. Confuse the two at your own peril!

Have you ever read a great business book (Traction) and thought to yourself, “this is so SIMPLE … I’ve got to TRY this in my organization.” You get everyone on the team to read the book and you schedule some time to discuss it. There’s a bit of skepticism on the part of your team to actually DO the work but you reassure everyone that it will be EASY.

If your experience was anything like my A/C experience it probably wasn’t as easy as you thought. If you want a great outcome, there’s no way to avoid effort, pain and discomfort. As with any skill, it is hard to master it while trying to learn it at the same time. So, if you want mastery, don’t assume because the tools are simple that the journey to master them will be easy.

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