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The Perfect Roadblock: Looking Past Imperfections to the End Goal

The Perfect Roadblock: Looking Past Imperfections to the End Goal

Fast Company took a hard look at perfectionism this week. The article discusses the inefficiencies of perfectionism and how this approach will only block creativity and productivity. Typical characteristics of perfectionism, such as inability to leave a rough draft before moving forward or over preparing, will act as roadblocks. Basically, perfectionism is a sure-fire way to drive you nuts. It reminded me that managers and teams should work towards finding the right balance between striving for the best results possible and working at an efficient and, hopefully, rapid pace.

As previously discussed, there are many ways for leaders to set goals for each individual or department. Before moving towards those goals and getting started on the actual work, it’s worthwhile for every team member to take the time and examine their own working style. While individualism should certainly shine through, some approaches will stunt the teams’ ability to accomplish goals. Perfectionism, frequently at the hand of managers or directors, is one of those approaches.

Perfectionism is understandable in the day and age of hypercritical responses to anything new. Social media and evolving communication styles encourage the public to discuss what they’re seeing. Before rolling out a new product or service, it’s easy to fall into the trap of perfectionism to avoid any negative chatter. However, trying to pinpoint the right time to start, belaboring the opening stages to a new project, or trying to perfect every inch of the project before moving on to the next are all common practices that only hurt, not help, the end goal.

Perfectionists: get your hands dirty. Don’t be afraid to go back and revise. You can’t improve upon something that doesn’t exist. Consider any negative feedback from constituents or the public as a starting place for improvements. Check out the full article for tips on how to ensure you’re not standing in the way of your – or your teams’ – progress.

From Jim Delaney’s blog

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