Posted: April 23, 2013

I recently received a newsletter that had an article about Great Leaders Get Rid of Clutter. The author made reference to having lived in the same house for 10 years and then packing and moving in 8 days. Instead of meticulous organization, things got tossed in boxes regardless of usefulness or category. Unpacking at the new home was “interesting” to say the least. The author then goes on to consider the clutter as a reflection on themselves.

In reality, if I am honest, probably 50-60% of the clutter and stuff I choose not to part with is simply not necessary.  Going a step further, some of it actually inhibits my space and progress.  The same can be said for leaders who hoard multiple projects, goals, or long outdated strategies in hope that one day they will be successful.  For leaders to be effective, they must de-clutter their efforts and focus on what matters most.

In the very early 1900's, an Italian economist by the name of Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula describing the unequal distribution of wealth he observed and measured in his country: Pareto observed that roughly twenty percent of the people controlled or owned eighty percent of the wealth.  In the late 1940s, Dr. Joseph M. Juran, a Quality Management pioneer, attributed the 80/20 Rule to Pareto, calling it Pareto's Principle. The 80/20 Rule means that in any set of things (workers, customers, etc.) a few (20 percent) are vital and many (80 percent) are considered trivial.

I considered the impact of clutter in our personal lives, clutter in our work lives and then I thought a step further to how to we add or remove clutter from the lives of others, be them campers, staff, volunteers, retreat groups or others in general?

After sharing this little article with a dear friend, a deep conversation took the clutter conversation to an entirely different level…. Those with clutter in one area of their life are prone to clutter in many areas of their life.

Where do you have clutter? Does your home clutter affect your work clutter, or vice versa? Do you create clutter for others? Do you relieve clutter of others?  I encourage you to declutter- before summer becomes it’s on form of clutter.


Yours in Camping,

~ Brigitta

(Executive Director, ACA Indiana)