A friend of mine's little brother - Mookie Morris - is currently competing on the television show Canadian Idol. I am not much of a Canadian Idol fan but I have been watching the show to see Mookie perform. He appears to be pegged for stardom - and here's why. All the other contestants are visibly trying to be something they are not - they choose 'popular' songs to sing, dress in elaborate gettups and generally do not appear authentic. Mookie on the other hand has kept it very simple - he wears his own casual clothes, sings songs that he alone likes and is very comfortable in himself. By keeping it simple and showing his talent in a clear way, Mookie has branded himself very effectively. He is believable.
Much can be learned from Mookie's simple authenticity. It is sometimes easy to get carried away in life or business. Whether you are baking a cake, building a deck in your backyard or developing an integrated marketing strategy - keeping it simple is essential to success. But beware - simple does not mean incomplete/rudimentary/unsophisticated - quite the contrary.
One of the key skills consultants must possess is the ability to package a vast amount of information and represent it in a clear, digestible or simple way for the client. This skill applies to virtually everything people do in their lives because it is so easy to get mired in details and lose track of what is most important. The smartest folks are often the ones who can explain complicated concepts in a simple way for people to understand (think Bill Clinton, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs).
Next time you are faced with something that is complex - be it personal or business - think about being simple and authentic in your approach.