The five levels of cognitive prowess by Albert Einstein: Smart, Intelligent, Brilliant, Genius, and Simple.
Einstein’s five ascending levels of intellect
My role as a Sounding Board is the opposite of being an expert, being smart. It took me a long time to learn that being smart and intelligent only goes so far in supporting other sin #MakingPotentialPossible.
Yes, I will bring my insights forwards for clients at times, yet the core role is to listen, to then support the client in distilling to simplicity from bringing forward their own answers through questioning and listening. The concept is perhaps best captured by the Jazz great Charlie Mingus:
“Making the simple complicated is commonplace. Making the complicated simple … that’s creativity.”
I approach this in many different ways and often use my writing to develop my thoughts. You can simply google site:tommmccallum.com (or use from the search bar in my site footer) with the words “simplicity sophistication complexity” and you will find many articles. I leave you a few here:
- Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
- Learn deeply then distil to simplicity
- Simplicity on the other side of complexity
- Prune complexity ruthlessly
- Simplicity and Complexity
- Be brave enough to keep it simple
And a final look through the prism of viewing simplicity from different angles, and appropriate having referenced Charlie Mingus’ quote, in honour of the late Mark Hollis, founder of Talk Talk: Learn how to play one note
Originally published at Tom McCallum.