A number of senior leaders have asked me: "What's wrong with expecting perfection, or something close to it?" Perfectionism has too many unwanted side effects—namely procrastination, resentment, and frustration. And your best people—those who learn, and are open-minded, self-motivated achievers—will not remain loyal and engaged over time if what they do is never good enough for you. Ratchet perfectionism back to moderation, and you turn it into a true leadership asset: holding yourself and others to high standards. If you are rarely satisfied, then consider the notion that your perfectionism is doing more harm than good, and rethink your standards in more reasonable terms.
- Am I typically dissatisfied with my own efforts, and/or the efforts of others?
- How might I apply a reasonableness standard—one that doesn’t cause disappointment to be the rule, rather than the exception?
- What strategies might help me to keep my perfectionism in check?
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Note: Over 100 of these tips appear in my book: Beyond Effective: Practices in Self-aware Leadership. Click on the image of the book for more information.
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