“Good Enough.” If you are to get anything done – especially as a leader- you need to develop an understanding and acceptance of this idea. You must understand selective perfectionism – VERY selective. You must understand the positive, explosive power of delegation. And you must appreciate the costs of holding back when it’s “only good enough”.
A recent (very lengthy) article published in The Atlantic discusses the confidence gap between men and women and identifies the costs of underusing confidence:
“Perfectionism is another confidence killer. Study after study confirms that it is largely a female issue, one that extends through women’s entire lives. We don’t answer questions until we are totally sure of the answer, we don’t submit a report until we’ve edited it ad nauseam, and we don’t sign up for that triathlon unless we know we are faster and fitter than is required. We watch our male colleagues take risks, while we hold back until we’re sure we are perfectly ready and perfectly qualified. We fixate on our performance at home, at school, at work, at yoga class, even on vacation. We obsess as mothers, as wives, as sisters, as friends, as cooks, as athletes. Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson, the authors of The Plateau Effect, call this tendency the “enemy of the good,” leading as it does to hours of wasted time. The irony is that striving to be perfect actually keeps us from getting much of anything done.” (The Confidence Gap)
So start now – look around. What is on your plate now that is almost done, but you were going to spend some time tweaking it or giving it one last look? Try an experiment. Be done. Let it go. And look for feedback – did any problems come from releasing the project without the tweaks? Were they significant or minor? Did you save time? Were you able to spend more time on what really needed your attention? Did you get home earlier? I will bet that the good that will come from letting it go will far outweigh the bad. I dare you!