Until recently I was a perfectionist. I have now realised that perfectionism is a character flaw and not a quality.
I was consistently striving to improve my property management systems and forms, improving my improvements, and then streamlining it still further. I was not satisfied with an already high level of quality and achievement.
Perfectionism brings only disappointment!
In itself, this strive for improvement is great, however, I was stressing and worried that it was not good enough and in fact expecting the same level from those around me. This only brought me disappointment.
For example- I would change certain forms and place them into our forms system. By the time others started implemented them, I had changed them again. I requested the numerous ‘hot off the press’ copies of the previous form to be disposed of, in favour of the slightly better version.
It came to a point when I started expecting nil errors from my assistant. I would scrutinise her work consistently, criticising her error factor. When I started making the very same errors- I took a step back and understood I was expecting something that I could not even achieve. I realised I had a wrong attitude that needed adjustment.
We all have an error rate!
My focus changed when I recognised we all have an error rate, however, we must strive to keep this at a minimal level of impact on our duties and responsibilities.
Perfectionism traps you in a mental prison. Perfectionism is expecting the impossible.
An attitude of excellence, on the other hand, opens the prison door and takes away an impossible mental standard.
Excellence still demands a high level of achievement but does not punish me when I find a further way to improve what I have done.
Excellence inspires others to achieve; perfectionism criticises others to achieve.
Excellence inspires others to go that extra mile; perfectionism drags others the extra mile.
Excellence promotes team morale; perfectionism pollutes team morale.
Excellence says give it your best; perfectionism says to look out if you don’t.
Excellence says we all can finish first; perfectionism says there can be only one winner.
I try to be as transparent as possible in my leadership of others. I will never pretend that I am better than anyone else-however I do have a long way to go with applying an attitude of excellence to all parts of my life professionally and personally.
Mediocre is the enemy of excellence!
What I do know is that an attitude of ‘mediocre’ is the enemy of excellence!
I look at parts of my life that are mediocre and think that when I am in the ‘sunset’ of my life, will I regret that I didn’t give those areas of my life my best shot…and that’s scary! I am old enough to examine the road I have travelled and where I have stumbled. I know I am also young enough to make a change.
I challenge you today to an attitude of excellence.
Be the best you, you can be!