The Economist – Mexico City
How many times have you met or seen a person who brags about being a perfectionist in everything they do and if someone is not like that, you just don’t consider them successful?
The reality is that seeking perfection is not a quality or something favorable for leadership because it becomes one of the greatest enemies that a leader can face, why?
“Perfectionism leads to over-analysis and decision-making paralysis. Seeking perfection will only make you feel frustrated. You have to accept that it’s 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 Maella, authors of the book With the same stone.
In their writing, the authors explain that generally things cannot go well at the first attempt or as perfect as expected and believing that perfection will be achieved this way only generates frustration, stress, personal discredit and instead of having a quality job , it ends with an unfavorable result.
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 do not follow it, makes them think that they are not suitable for their tasks or they will not have the success they want. Also, they will not be able to make the right decisions, something critical for the leadership of a company.
“You have to take risks, yes, but knowing what risks you are taking and being prepared to address potential adverse consequences.”
The problems of perfection
When a leader seeks perfection, they stop being realistic, they begin to believe that they have more control over what happens in their lives than they can really have, which prevents them from achieving a broader vision and acting appropriately, which ends up having repercussions on the team. work and the organization itself.
“There are many examples of how wanting the results to be one way results in failure or frustration, because the unforeseen events of daily life interfere to such a degree that the result totally changes.”
At the level of collaborators, seeking perfection also damages their productivity and well-being, because even if they do an optimal and quality job, more will always be demanded of them just because the leader has a vision different from reality and it will never be enough. In the end, people end up exhausted, with burnout syndrome, with loss of work mission, unmotivated and with high levels of stress.
But the fact that a leader always seeks perfection is not only a personal matter, since having positions with too many needs, the level that they demand of themselves increases, leading them to seek to be perfect.
Evaluate data reveals that 56% of leaders have repercussions on their productivity and morale due to all the tasks they must execute, the responsibilities assigned and the level required by the position they have. This stress is transformed and transmitted to the collaborators, so work must be done to achieve a balance between what is required and mental health, a great challenge but one that can be improved little by little.
How to improve?
Despite the pressure they may have, leaders must stop seeking perfection, just focus on achieving good results without causing greater wear on their health or that of their collaborators, or else they would have other crises such as illnesses. , high labor turnover, lower productivity, among others.
To do this, the authors share the following tips:
Don’t risk too much. Pressure is not a good adviser, so if it addresses the stress of being perfect, it is best to take a moment to reflect and rest. This will give you a better view.
Guide yourself by intuitions. Accept reality even if it is not the one you like and stay open to the course things take naturally and if necessary, change the strategy or plans. Remember that nothing is perfect nor can you have control of everything.
Do not cling to your ideas, listen to others, encourage them to contribute ideas because this will create a better job than the initial one. This way you will also empower your collaborators.
Do not demand the impossible from yourself or from others. Sometimes by looking for the perfect they think of things that are not possible to do, so adapt to what you have in front of you and learn to make the most of it.
“We think we know more than we really do and that we have more control over things than we really do”, which should not be, they conclude.