Perfect or Done?

There are two kinds of people….those who get things perfect, and those who get things done.  Are you a Perfectionist or a “Get ‘R Done” person?

Perfection is difficult to achieve and often isn’t 100% necessary. 

For example:  Two students have been assigned a project to produce a solar system replica along with a report on the subject.  The due date is tomorrow. 

The Perfectionist student may get caught up in ensuring that the replica is of the finest materials, accurate colors, most realistic surface, exactly to scale, etc.  This can often happen to the detriment of the report, and the due date!

The “Get ‘R Done” student will analyze the grading rubric and determine the replica is only worth 5 points and the must-have elements of the report will carry the most weight.  This student will focus on ensuring the report meets the specified criteria and then produce a replica not nearly as perfect, but satisfactory.

The lesson here is that we face these decisions every day in our tasks.  Sometimes a task must be perfect, for example brain surgery!  However, most of our tasks have the latitude described above.

 It’s important to evaluate a task and determine the appropriate amount of effort, double-checking, etc. needed to accomplish the task to the highest quality necessary, within the allotted time frame.  Note:  “highest quality necessary“, not “highest quality possible”.

Sometimes perfection is more critical than timeliness, and it’s important to know when this condition exists.  More often, however, getting the job done is more critical than having it reach an unnecessary level of perfection.

Prioritization and effective time management are dependent upon making these decisions well. Ultimately, weigh the use of your time and energy carefully, and allocate them with proper focus.  You’ll accomplish more, and what you accomplish will be done more consistently

Quote:  Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.”

–Lin Yutang,
Chinese writer, translator, linguist and inventor


Where is your weak link?

3 steps to weeding them out!

Every business has one (or more).  Sometimes it’s a process, sometimes a product, but more often than not, it’s a PERSON

How should you address weak links?  These three steps are necessary, if you’re interested in strengthening your business.

Identify:  First, you must clearly identify the weak links.  You can do this by asking for, and paying attention to, customer feedback.  Ask about processes, products and people.  Do not be offended by what you hear.  Customers will tell you their perceptions and, you can either choose to believe them and build your business or ignore them and watch it fail.  Inform your employees that you are asking for specific feedback.  Meanwhile, look around, watch people work, and examine data regarding output/efficiency.  Look in the places your customers might not see.

Intervene: A weak link left unchecked will eventually break your business.  Share the results of your “Identification” step.  Again, this is no time for people to get offended.  This is business.  If a person is one of your problems, it’s time to make it public.  The rest of your employees know who the weak link is and will appreciate the fact that you’re finally addressing the situation.  Determine what it will take to strengthen the weak link.  The answer may be awareness, training, process changes, or reorganization.  Be strong enough to take the actions needed, or your employees will lose faith in your leadership.

Institute:  Institute a measurement process for important business metrics so that weak links are identified quickly and you can determine whether or not interventions are effective.  Share metrics with employees so that the quality and efficiency of your business is known and improvements can be celebrated.  You may also want to institute a reward and recognition program so that continuous improvement is encouraged and reinforced.

Weeding out weak links not only strengthens your business but also improves employee morale.  Here’s your reality check for the day:  Don’t wait for weak links to fix themselves … that just never happens.