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The Slippery Slope of Perfection

No one is perfect. No program is perfect. No organization is perfect. And that’s okay. Here are some tips on how to accept – and learn from – mistakes.

Perfection is not the goal. In Perfectionism Can Stunt Business Growth: 5 Ways to Let It Go and Grow, author Lynda Shaw argues that the quest for perfect may actually be something to avoid.

No one will question the value of having high standards. But where does one set the limit? A fear of making mistakes can lead to procrastination. Ironically, that can then result in a rush of work at deadline that meets no one’s standards. In trying to be perfect, the negatives of every project become the most glaring and staff can lose sight of the many things that were successful.

Releasing the notion of being perfect gives more freedom to hire staff who may think differently from the traditional way of doing things. It allows others in the organization to take risks and try new approaches. It can reduce micromanagement and refocus on the idea of trusting peers and colleagues. And perhaps most importantly, it acknowledges that making mistakes is sometimes necessary for future growth, change and fresh thinking.

Read more on the topic of perfectionism in Shaw’s article in Forbes.

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