Rule #9 – Replace Perfection with Excellence

In this episode we discuss: 

  • Many leaders today are frozen by the fear of failure. They believe that they need to be perfect or else they will suffer the consequences. 
  • The idea is to practice to make perfect, not practice to make perfect. 
  • Leading disruption requires moving from needing to have things be perfect to focusing on being excellent.
  • This allows leaders to make decisions faster with less data while still maintaining a high level of performance. 
  • Experienced CEO Rebecca Macieria-Kaufman shares that excellence is the opposite of perfection because zero error means that you are not learning. She shares examples of how to pursue excellence, especially when delivering for clients and customers.
  • When you set the example of how to be excellent, you show the rest of your organization how to move past perfectionism too.
  • To practice excellence and gain the benefits from it requires practicing the discipline of excellence in three areas. 
    • Make small, fast decisions. Instead of having to have all of the information/data to make the perfect decision, instead prioritize the “minimally viable data” needed to make the first excellent decision. 
    • Have the confidence to reverse decisions. Instead of treating every decision as fixed, remember that most decisions are reversible. Almost every time, you can change your mind and go back. This is the foundational mindset underlying agile methodologies.
    • Set impossible deadlines to spur action. Develop the confidence to make decisions without all of the data in hand. More time doesn’t necessarily help you make a better decision — you just feel better about it. 
  • If this seems hard, then try being excellent for the next five minutes. How can you show up as your best self, not your perfect self? What does that look like and mean to you, your team, and your organization to be excellent?

Additional Resources 

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