Those who can’t fall short can’t move forward. The pursuit of excellence requires imperfection. Steps toward excellence are always inadequate.
The nature of moving forward is you’re always falling short.
Excellence is achieved as the result of a long series of imperfect improvements. The ability to accept the inadequate, at least temporarily, is essential in the pursuit of excellence.
“Averagists,” those who take imperfect steps toward achievable goals, always go further than perfectionists. Each step forward calls for another because you haven’t arrived.
“Research shows that perfectionism hampers success.”
7 dangers of perfectionism:
- Constant feelings of being a failure.
- Inability to make progress because progress is imperfect.
- Feeling superior to average folk.
- Need approval but find it dissatisfying at the same time.
- Isolation. Approval based on perfection causes withdrawal.
- Lack of allies.
- Disappointment and distrust of others who always disappoint.
Excellence requires doing badly at first.
“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”
G. K. Chesterton
Experience shows that many leaders are perfectionists. I’m one. Some of the things on the list below just irk me.
- Try something without putting all your eggs in one basket.
- Let go and let others step in. Perfectionists need to do everything themselves.
- Say, “Good enough.”
- Ask, “What are we learning?”
- Make a fool of yourself in a safe environment. Engage in an activity where it’s likely you’ll fall short.
- Disclose a weakness to a friend.
- Engage in self-reflection.
- Find a mentor who will help you do badly.
- Evaluate your goals. Are they high but achievable?
- Pursue progress not perfection.
The thing that troubles me the most about doing something badly is accepting mediocrity. The trouble with excellence is it takes time.
Facebook fans respond: “The differences between pursuing excellence and pursuing perfection include _______.
How can leaders pursue excellence and reject perfectionism?