Community Futures Meridian

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Continuous Improvement or Perfection?

  • May 3, 2019
  • Written by Meridian Admin

What in life requires perfection? Usually situations that are associated with matters of safety, life and death. We also need perfection when designing and building vehicles, airplanes and rocket ships or building bridges, office towers or other structures to ensure stability and resistance to outside forces. Medical procedures also require perfection.

“Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.” – Kim Collins, Olympic Athlete

However, on many occasions we find ourselves in situations where we get caught up trying to be perfect and it’s actually slowing us down. During those times we are creating barriers to moving forward; we dwell on small things that don’t really matter but take up a great deal of time. We get bogged down with trying to achieve perfection when it isn’t necessary, or even at times realistic.

“The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement.”  - George Will, Journalist

It’s really important at certain intervals to reflect on what we are doing and what we are trying to achieve; to ask ourselves the following questions. What outcome are we looking for? What amount of time are we willing and able to spend? When is enough, enough

Our focus on perfectionism can blur our path to improvement. In fact, it can become a roadblock to better things. Those minor incremental changes probably won’t make any significant, or real, difference in the long run.

When we move from focusing on perfection to concentrating on continuous improvement, we will actually achieve greater outcomes. When we are able to overcome those “spinning wheels of perfectionism,” we will find that we have freed up some time to focus on other more important things.

“Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change.” – Tom Peters, Business Management Author and Speaker

Next time you are caught looking for perfection, stop, reflect, and ask yourself, how important is it? What will you achieve by striving for perfection? What else could you be doing?

Paul Abra, Certified Executive Coach

Motivated Coaching