The Economist – Mexico City
How many times have you met or seen someone who brags about being a perfectionist in everything they do, and if someone isn’t, you don’t consider them successful?
The truth is that striving for perfection is not an attribute or thing conducive to leadership, because it becomes one of the greatest enemies a leader can face. why?
“Perfectionism leads to over-analysis and paralysis of decision-making. Striving for perfection will make you feel frustrated. You have to accept that it is normal to make mistakes and that not everything is under your control, even if you don’t like to admit it”, explain Miguel Angel Arino and Pablo Maila, The authors of the book with the same stone.
In their writing, the authors explain that things generally cannot go as well on the first try or as perfect as expected, and the belief that perfection will be achieved in this way only leads to frustration, stress, loss of personal credibility and instead of getting a good job, ends up with a result unfavorable.
The problem is that with the normalization that one must be perfect in everything that is done, leaders live under that culture that, if they don’t follow it, makes them think that they are unsuitable for their tasks or that they will not succeed. Wants. Also, they will not be able to make the right decisions, which is critical to the leadership of the company.
“You have to take a risk, yes, but know what the risks are and be prepared for possible negative consequences.”
When a leader strives for perfection, he ceases to be realistic, and begins to believe that he has more control over what happens in his life than he really can, which prevents him from achieving a broader vision and acting appropriately, which leads to repercussions on the team, work, and the organization itself.
“There are many examples of how wanting results to be one way leads to failure or frustration, because unexpected events in everyday life interfere to the point that the outcome changes completely.”
At the level of collaborators, striving for perfection is also detrimental to their productivity and well-being, because even if they perform a perfect and high-quality work, more will always be demanded of them simply because the leader has a different view of reality and never will be. Enough. Ultimately, people end up with fatigue, burnout syndrome, lost work assignment, lack of motivation and high levels of stress.
But the fact that a leader always strives for perfection is not only personal, since having positions with a lot of needs, the level they demand of themselves increases, which leads them to strive to be perfect.
Evaluation data reveals that 56% of leaders have implications for their productivity and morale due to all the tasks they must perform, the responsibilities assigned and the level required by the position they occupy. This pressure is transferred and passed on to the collaborators, so work must be done to balance what is required with mental health, which is a huge challenge but one that can be improved little by little.
How do you get better?
Despite the pressures they may be under, leaders must stop striving for perfection, and focus only on achieving good results without causing greater harm to their health or the health of their collaborators, otherwise they will face other crises such as diseases. , high labor turnover, and low productivity, among others.
To do this, the authors share the following tips:
Don’t risk too much. Stress is not a good advisor, so if it addresses the stress of being perfect, you better take a moment to think and rest. This will give you a better view.
Guide yourself with intuition. Accept reality even if it’s not the one you like and stay open to the cycle that things take naturally and if necessary, change the strategy or plans. Remember that nothing is perfect and you cannot control everything.
Don’t get caught up in your ideas, listen to others, and encourage them to contribute ideas as this will create a better job than the initial one. This way you will also empower your collaborators.
Do not ask the impossible from yourself or others. Sometimes by looking for perfection, they think about things they can’t do, so you have to adapt to what’s in front of you and learn to make the most of it.
They concluded, “We think we know more than we really know and have more control over things than we really know,” which it shouldn’t be.