Perfectionism is defined as a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less. The fear of something being less than perfect too often results in not doing anything at all. It holds us back from moving forward on objectives and activities that will have a positive impact on today and tomorrow's business.
Some perfectionists label themselves as "having a type A personality" or "being a bit of a control freak," but the root cause of their behavior is perfectionism.
Here are some examples of perfectionism creating a roadblock to growth. I've recently encountered every one of them.
1. The storeowner who hasn't got the employee performance review perfect enough to roll out even though the employees haven't been reviewed in over two years.
2. The executive who has had a sales training 90% complete for more than six months.
3. The salon owner who hasn't started a Facebook page because she doesn't have time and is concerned that if she gives it to someone else they'll do something that will have a negative impact on her brand.
4. The manager whose to-do list is a mile long because she can't delegate anything. She's running around like a madwoman while her staff stands around waiting for something to do.
How do you overcome perfectionism? The easiest way is compare the cost of not doing something with the benefit of going forward.
For example, what it is the cost of moving forward with a review the owner isn't 100% happy with? If it's so bad he could be sued (highly unlikely) then he shouldn't move forward. But what's the benefit to the storeowner of moving forward with a less than perfect review? Say the store does $2,000,000 a year and the review helps staff morale and the team to develop so they're able to improve sales 1%. 1% is extremely conservative but 1% is still an additional $20,000 in sales! I have one word for this owner. . . GO!
I can't imagine the cost of not releasing a sales training for six months is, or putting off hiring me. (Yes, shameless plug. But it is my newsletter.) And what's the cost of the manager doing everything herself? Not only is it costing her sales but she is probably so stressed out that it is impacting her life and maybe even her health. I have one word for this manager . . . DELEGATE!
I certainly don't advocate putting out sloppy or inferior work, but "really good and done" is much more profitable than "I'll wait until it's absolutely perfect and then we'll move forward."
So let me ask, is your perfectionism holding you back and at what cost?