Resource Development Associates

Looking Beyond Perfection

By Patricia Marrone Bennett, Ph.D.

A good leader believes in the potential of others and supports efforts to reach their goals. As we strive to meet those goals, we often stumble and make mistakes. This is true of every person at all levels of an organization. Perfection is not part of the human condition, although we often fret and worry if things are not perfect. We do our best, make mistakes, and hopefully are open to learning and growing as we try again. Good leaders recognize that the road to success is paved with setbacks and they focus on strengths without lingering on weaknesses.

Even when leaders practice a strength-based approach, what I notice, even in myself is that we are often inclined to note our imperfections and focus only on what we need to improve. In many cases, we are our own harshest critics. I have a belief that this can lead to a tendency to be overly critical of others. I believe that this habit comes from living in a deficit-driven society that constantly focuses on what is wrong instead of what is right. But it’s possible to break out of this habit!

We live in a world that is overflowing with problems to solve and injustices to right. As we endeavor to meet these challenges, let’s take the time each and every day to look up and see what is working, not only with us, but also with those we work with, with our organization, and with the world around us. By leveraging these strengths, we can strive for something better than perfection – humanity and growth.

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