Saturday, November 29, 2014

An Excellence Mind: In Pursuit of Perfecting, not Perfection

An excellence mind has the wisdom to strike the right balance between two opposite forces. 

A positive life is a progressive journey, from good to great; from fine to excellent; from important to significant, every leapfrogging takes altitude, attitude, and aptitude, and it all starts with mindset, is an excellence mind in pursuit of perfecting – the continuous improvement; or a perfectionism-being a perfectionist in chase of being perfect?

An excellence mind is to make continuous improvement. There's a word of difference between the noun 'perfect' with the implication of a 'perfect' entity and the verb ' perfecting', through progressive problem resolution. Like so many aspects of life, the key is striking a balance between opposing forces, each with its own set of pros and cons. Too little perfectionism leads to a rapid but undesirable endpoint. Too much perfectionism leads to analysis paralysis and no endpoint at all. Striving for perfection is an asset to the implementation of an idea while at the same time it is a detriment to the idea's creation. 

Excellence is more as an attitude while perfection is often a status. Perfection is someone else's perception of an ideal; it is often unforgiving and inflexible. Excellence, however, is an attitude, not an end game. It is a fulfillment of purpose and a more positive approach to life. The problem with perfectionists is that they don't have room for experimenting and looking behind or beyond the borders. So it’s limiting innovation because they are too involved making every detail perfect. When perfection is driven by fear (and it often is, the fear of getting it perfect and right), then the fear lessens the creativity. Only in an open trusting space, then creativity can flow. So the argument is not perfectionism that kills creativity and innovation - it is a lack of discipline, confidence and not knowing what is really important!  

Excellence mind can cultivate innovation, but perfectionism may kill enthusiasm and slows down progress! For the works need a certain level of creativity, and whose creations and output do not require precision accuracy, you are wasting precious time striving for perfection. Instead, good enough, will be and is good enough when bringing innovative, inventive products and services to the marketplace! Otherwise, one can get easily overwhelmed by the details, losing focus on the bigger goal. However, some form of striving for perfectionism is useful in production/process tasks and implementation phase, but it is not a mindset for sparking creativity, as it is unattainable and squelches innovation. Perfectionism can transform your hopes into despair. The objective of any successful innovation is to create what did not exist, to improve on what already existed and to solve problems. Excellence in all we do is something we should strive for,  to try as long as you don't get too obsessed, because that is where you push yourself beyond your comfort zones – which helps stretch out to pursue perfecting, not be perfect.

An excellence mind has the wisdom to strike the right balance between two opposite forces. There must be balance and, therefore, all things must be done in wisdom and in order and the role of the leader is to keep the team on course. Getting a team working and performing sometimes means compromising perfection but not on reflection. The creation and facilitation of a reflective learning environment are critical to a team’s development of ‘next practice’ and continual improvement whether with customer service or achievement of targets. The "maladaptive" perfectionist is likely to be incapable of leading effectively in today’s ever-changing business environment.

An excellence mind strives for excellence in all we do include leaving room for risk and innovation! It is rigorous to allow for creative thought and action! The inflexible perfection can derail goals, squash dreams and deflate aspiration. It is important to strike the right balance, perfecting one’s skills and capability in reaching the goals and visions continuously, but no need to be perfect if it stifles innovation and avoid risk-taking.


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