Performance With the Right Amount of Perfection

Delivering high quality work without overdosing on perfection is a tough balancing act that many business professionals struggle to maintain. This is particularly true when managing direct reports or working with peers.

The bright side of striving for perfection is high standards and delivering impeccable work which is seen as a hallmark of success. The dark side of perfection is overlooking unseen opportunities and isolating yourself from colleagues. The overuse of perfection presents itself in a few different forms:

  • Set demanding performance standards at such unrealistic high levels thereby inducing stress levels that inhibit people from doing their best work.
  • Strive so hard for perfection there is an obsession with improving and eliminating mistakes
  • Lose sight of the realistic and practical compromises necessary for the task’s completion
  • Being unable to delegate or delegate with excessive detail, communicating a lack of trust in the other’s capability
  • Become overwhelmed by the elaborate reporting and review system established to achieve perfection.

When I coach leaders about being effective delegators, I often see many of these dark side characteristics. To learn about how one team achieved performance with the right amount of perfection, check out my article on Not Much Grows Under the Cloud of Perfection