Eight Times When Good Enough Beats Perfect
When does Good Enough beat Perfect? When Good Enough clears space for action and accomplishment - for moving forward. Perfect, on the other hand, almost always gets in the way of action and accomplishment - it keeps real progress from being made. Waiting for perfect is a sure recipe for failure. Here are eight times when "Good Enough" will beat perfect:
When does Good Enough beat Perfect? When Good Enough clears space for action and accomplishment - for moving forward.
Perfect, on the other hand, almost always gets in the way of action and accomplishment - it keeps real progress from being made. Waiting for perfect is a sure recipe for failure.
Let me define what I mean by Good Enough. To a lot of people the phrase "good enough" is more criticism than praise - it implies just "getting by" - or that you could have done better. To me Good Enough means a commitment was kept, a solution that met a need was developed, an action was taken that met a goal. It means that recognition was made of the difference between the critical, the necessary and the trivial. It means a level of action leading to a solution was taken that met the situation - and time, energy and money weren't wasted trying to make the solution better than it needed to be.
I have a good friend who is in a constant battle with Good Enough. Every single thing that comes across her desk has to be handled as if it is the most important thing in the world. She is in constant conflict with much of what needs to be done - and has a real problem getting the very important done first. She strives for perfection in everything she does - and it's causing her real problems. She's a truly excellent person - the only person who doesn't think so is her.
I suspect that the greatest authors, the greatest artists, the greatest composers, the greatest software developers, the greatest salespeople can look back at their achievements and see room for improvement. At some point they all said to themselves " Good Enough." Had they waited for that final stroke of genius - that perfection - their work would never be treasured by so many. That's what perfect does - it keeps real genius under wraps.
How often have you worked hard on something - given it your all - and ended up judging your actions with a vague sense of disappointment when your result was judged - by yourself or by others - as "good enough." You're left feeling "damned with faint praise." But, in truth, your work - your actions - are something to be proud of. You acted, you took risk, you improved - and the next time you'll be even better. Think of the best hitter in baseball. On average, he only gets a hit every three times up to the plate. The other two times could be seen as failures, but the top hitters know those at bats - those imperfect at bats - are the only way to the hits.
Here are eight times when "Good Enough" will beat perfect:
1 - When Good Enough results in action being taken. Without action there can be no accomplishment. More people have failed while striving for the perfect solution - and missing the opportunity that is taken by the less perfect, but "Good Enough."
2 - When Good Enough results in taking the next step. The next step - be it the follow up sales call, the next experiment after a failure, the next presentation after a poorly received one - although that next step isn't perfect - results in being one step closer to success.
3 - When Good Enough defeats fear, resistance and procrastination. Good Enough can liberate - it can reduce the fear and resistance level - it provides that little boost to go beyond. Perfect creates fear.
4 - When Good Enough overcomes those two deeply imbedded beliefs we all share - " I am not able" and "I am not worthy." Nothing holds people back more than their own belief that they aren't worthy or aren't able. Nothing can get them past those beliefs more than promising to do the best they can - Good Enough - and finding out they far exceeded their own fears and expectations.
5 - When Good Enough creates a "ready, fire, aim" habit of thought - the first step to continuous improvement. Liberate resistance by understanding that success is a journey - every step on the journey is a learning experience - every step is evaluated on the basis of what was learned, and how much closer it came to success.
6 - When Good Enough separates the important few from the trivial many. Setting priorities - and separating the need for absolute maximum effort and expertise from the clutter of the less important - leads to more time for the really neat stuff that creates real success.
7 - When Good Enough keeps us raising our own personal bar. Raising the bar requires first finding where the bar is right now. Good Enough helps establish where the bar is - the first step to raising it - to continuous improvement.
8- When Good Enough meets our goals - SMART goals. Goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time - framed. There is no room for P - Perfect - in that equation.
The next time you're tempted to think in terms of the perfect solution, remember that Good Enough puts you on the road to success. Use the Good Enough habit of thought to accomplish more, succeed more, and travel further down the road on the journey to success.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andy Cox helps clients align their resources and design and implement change through the application of goals focused on the important few elements that have maximum impact in achieving success - as defined by the client. He can be reached at http://www.coxconsultgroup.com and E Mail at email@example.com