Last week was my birthday and I took a week off writing my blog. I did not announce this in advance – it just happened. I was trying to let go of being planned and predictable ( my version of perfect perhaps). It didn’t feel very comfortable. I am a woman who has always had plans ahead of me: things to give structure and events to look forward to..and thus gaps in between to be free and spontaneous as well.
The confinement continues in some places and is loosened in others. Perfectionism stalks us as usual in its different ways. A young woman in London is pushing herself to study a lot when she is facing many challenges created by lockdown and her family situation. I encourage her to slow down a little. My husband has injured his arm and doesn’t want to be less than productive and continues to work virtually regardless. A friend worries about the fact her art pieces will deteriorate over time as she sells them.
Our projects and plans for the near future still have some uncertainty haunting them. Our holiday planning has been derailed by my husband’s injury and a friend becoming infected with COVID 19. We still need a lot of flexibility and resilience as we advance. This is a time to let go of finished perfect plans as things are likely to shift and change anyway. Do something, move forward with small steps is more the order of the day. Watch out for those around you, listen out for their well-being and happiness. Time will tell.
Something reminds me of the chaos felt in the midst of big organisational change when projects were launched and some never developed because the time was not right. Work that focussed on people and helping them through the storm was most successful. An openness to dialogue and adjusting plans to fit as things shift was key.
Maybe an attitude of allowing things to be good enough is a great one for fostering difference too – not about lowering standards but broadening what good enough looks like to include the approaches or perspectives of more people and thus enriching our work differently. So letting go of the perfectionism you may have as a leader of others may generate fresh and interesting pathways for your organisation in these new times.
It’s good to remember the Pareto principle – that 20% of the effort produces 80% of the results and to perfect something (the last 20%) you need to use 80% of the effort. In these unpredictable times it is probably not worth trying to complete the last 20%. The exception to this is, of course, the work which will be done by the surgeon on my partner’s arm next week! Otherwise – be kind to yourselves and be satisfied with the 80% until something else changes.
I would love to hear your stories linked to this – I wish you an excellent week.
#perfectionism #leadership #diversityandinclusion #goodenough #pandemic