Leading by Perfection

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Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? If yes, then you are not alone. Many people throw this word around easily as someone might describe having brown or blue eyes. Can you be a perfectionist if you do not achieve perfection? Or is this just an overused word that allows people with an intense personality to get away with their behavior?

What happens when you are a leader and consider yourself a perfectionist? Do you find it difficult to lead when you expect perfection from everyone around you? This can be a common problem when a team member does not share your perfectionist views of the world. Everyone has his or her own motivations for getting out of bed and going to work everyday. When motivations are not in alignment, this can create friction within an organization. Consider this, you are a perfectionist leader who demands everyone around you perform at the same level in which you operate in every day. Your motivation is the desire to achieve a level of success in your organization by perfecting service, or your product. On the other hand, you have a team member who could really care less and will do nothing more than what is required of him or her. Most likely the motivation of this individual is just to pay their bills; their job is not their life-long passion. How do you respond to this type of behavior from a team member? Do you demand that they care and adopt your quest for perfection?

Achieving perfection on a personal level is a very difficult concept at best. As a leader, does this need for perfection create a challenging work environment for all involved? I am curious to know if your leadership style gets in the way when you are faced with team members who do not share your passion for perfection?

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