Our reader poll today asks: How much of a perfectionist are you when it comes to deliverables for clients, customers or senior executives?
- Extreme: Everything has to be absolutely perfect. 28%
- Very much so: A small error here or there is OK but no more than that. 55%
- Kind of: Perfect is the enemy of done. I’d rather get things done than perfect. 14%
- Not much: As long as the work is good enough, I’ll deliver it. 2%
- Not at all: I tend not to focus on perfectionism. It’s annoying and slows me down. 1%
Quality matters. A strong majority of you (83%) are perfectionists or close to it when it comes to client, customer, or senior executive deliverables. Deservedly so. While it may only be a presentation, a business case, or a memo in many cases, the quality of that work is often taken as an indicator of the quality of the thinking and the quality of what the final deliverable will be. Invest the time in review. Get multiple eyes on your work. Be open to criticism and feedback (you asked for it!). For those who have a “perfect is the enemy of done” mindset, that approach does have its place. Your challenge is to recognize when it‘s appropriate and when it’s not. Taking that approach with everything you do can have undesirable consequences. Those of you in the extreme 3% minority who don’t sweat the details, I invite you to recognize the approach is quite the outlier. If you’re wondering why your ideas don’t advance and your recommendations aren’t approved, I’d suggest you start looking at the quality of your deliverables as the root cause.
Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!
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These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 240,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.