Today we continue the series on the ten most important things I have learned from others.
5. Striving for perfection is a sign of arrogance
Yes, admit it, this one probably gets your hackles up. Part of leadership is holding yourself (and others) to high standards. It is good to know what the perfect version of something should look like, but it is not worth investing in it. First of all, to actually think you could do something perfectly is arrogant. You are only mortal. Second, in the striving for perfection, what are you leaving undone? I used to only be willing to send out “perfect” emails. So, if I didn’t have time to do more than dash off a quick response, or if I didn’t have the schedule, the worksheet, the letter, whatever it was, in “perfect” shape, I would hold it until I could get it “perfect.” The end result was that I never finished them and instead of having something good enough from me, people got nothing. Perfectly nothing. The perfect is the enemy of the good (paraphrase from Voltaire), so get over it and cut yourself some slack.
I’ll be away from email for a while, but please feel free to respond to this series and I will get back to you after my return.
Do good and be well,