One of the best bits of advice I ever received was this: life is about success, not perfection.
Most of my coaching clients need the same counsel. Despite being highly successful executives, they can become overly focused on the things they haven’t gotten around to doing and stubbornly dwell on times when they’ve fallen short of the perfect solution.
The desire for perfection, while perhaps understandable, is just not helpful. It brings delay, promotes procrastination, drives negative thinking, adds cost and lowers revenues. It also negatively affects your team, as they end up seeking approval from you on issues that they should be sorting out themselves.
Conversely, focusing on and celebrating success builds confidence, creates momentum and drives performance. Recognising where you or a member of your team has succeeded in moving a project forward, sorting out a customer issue, helping a colleague perform better, or bringing a new product to market creates a positive, can-do environment where people want to work and where customers want to shop.
How much of your time and headspace is spent on negatively assessing where you’ve fallen short of unattainable perfection and how much is spent on celebrating your real successes?
Off The Record: (If Paradise) Is Half as Nice by Amen Corner
If paradise is half as nice
As heaven that you take me to
Who needs paradise?
I’d rather have you