Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pefectionists Are Suckers

You operate at a different level. Your standards are higher than those around you. You're confident you can make a huge difference in your organization if everyone would make sure the work gets done the right way. Your way. Why can't they make sure that everything is going to be just right before they start implementing changes? Isn't it obvious their ideas aren't perfect?

You my friend are a sucker...and everybody knows it.

What's Wrong With Perfection?
There is really only one thing wrong with perfection: it's completely unattainable. Other than that, have at it. Go for it. Strain, stretch, and push yourself and those around you as hard as you would like. I'm sure you' you'll never get there. So why is perfection your only option?

You my friend are still a sucker.

Make Progress, Not Enemies
Over the years I've shifted my view on the quality of work, at least on a macro-scale. For me, making progress each year is much more valuable than making work perfect.

I've already clarified perfection is out of reach, yet so many of my colleagues strive for it despite the casualties that are inherent in that approach (low morale, unwelcome turnover, lost productivity, lack in decisions being made, etc...).

How About You
Perhaps it's time for us all to focus on making work better instead of making work perfect? I love talking about progress. Besides, being a

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

photo credit


  1. Jay, I sometimes catch myself trying to make things exactly right before I remember that, often, good enough is good enough.

    I'm going to put 'Finished is better than Perfect' on my whiteboard, keeping in mind that professional standards appropriate to the product still apply to 'finished'.

    BTW, the title is, in its own way, perfect!

    1. Many thanks Jeff! I appreciate the kind words and your input!

  2. Good enough, move on. Life's too short for perfect, most of the time.

  3. Jay, great post and an always timely reminder. As a semi-reformed perfectionist (i.e., sucker), I've strived to live by the maxim: Imperfect action beats perfect inaction.

    It goes against my nature, but helps me actually get stuff done, take chances, and have a bit of fun in the day. Onward and upward!

    1. foolwithaplan - Thanks for your your maxim!

  4. Made me think about my tombstone. "Finished" says it all. It's dignified. Dying to be perfect, well, you're still gonna die AND be a sucker.