Have you ever worked for a manager who set high expectations for you – maybe even higher than you would have set for yourself – and genuinely believed you could achieve those expectations? Did your performance in the end meet or even exceed those expectations? If so, you’ve benefitted from the Pygmalion effect.
If someone you care deeply about is having brain surgery, do you want a surgical team that says, “Done is better than perfect,” in the operating room? We don’t!
Too often, people focus only on the downside of perfectionism. Perfectionism, like almost all other character traits, is not inherently desirable or undesirable. It is not something people should work to overcome. Furthermore, even if you want to overcome it, that’s extremely difficult to do because, like introversion, it’s a character trait.
If you are a perfectionist, we encourage you to embrace it as a strength, not curse it as a flaw. Instead of investing your time trying to shake off your perfectionism, you should seek situations in which being a perfectionist is a good fit. Look for an organization that is passionate about excellence, one that sets high standards for quality and aggressively strives for continuous improvement.
Michael Watkins recently posted a thought provoking and well written article entitled, “What Is Organizational Culture? And Why Should We Care?”
Not only must we deepen our understanding of what culture is, but also we must struggle to figure out how to shape and sustain the kind of organization culture we want and need. Of course, there’s no easy answer to this question, but the struggle to find an answer will help us grow. So here’s my contribution to this conversation.
I’ll focus on the shared values and beliefs of an organization and the full range of behaviors that are expected, valued, rewarded, punished, tolerated or ignored..
Sometimes enlightenment strikes in the most common of circumstances – like a Saturday shopping trip to Costco with your husband. Standing in the seam between the produce section and the frozen foods recently, I realized that these kinds of trips have improved our emotional intelligence, and they have made both of us better spouses, parents, employees and leaders.