Setting your sights on greatness matters to your team, your customers and your bottom line. Perfection is elusive. Greatness is inspiring. Don’t settle.

I have to admit, this is one I’ve struggled with over the years.  My drive to always do better would often end up as a pursuit of perfection. I learned the hard way that this approach is costly – in more ways than one.

Perfection…lessons learned the hard way:

  • Team’s suffer when they believe goals are out of reach.  Team members lose confidence and momentum as they come to believe their efforts will never be “good enough.”
  • Chasing perfection limits the ability to deliver on key initiatives.  It simply requires too many resources to even approach perfection. In the end, organizations achieve success with fewer initiatives due to the extra time and resources spent chasing perfection.
  • It’s sometimes hard to know where to draw the line in the sand.  Leaders often find themselves rallying the team to push beyond (real and perceived) obstacles.  The challenge is to not lose sight of appropriate success criteria while leading the organization to break through barriers.
  • Sometimes the best thing a leader can do is to hold back.  When hearing from teams about completed initiatives, my mind often moves quickly to what should happen next. While this can be valuable in mapping out future plans and priorities, I have learned it can also be disheartening to team members who feel unappreciated for accomplishing the task at hand.  I now capture my ideas for discussion with team members at a time that won’t take away from celebrating the success at hand.

Greatness…why I’m all in:

  • Team members want to be a part of something special.  I’ve seen a dramatic increase in focus, determination and momentum when teams feel they are working to achieve something special.  The possibility of achieving greatness energizes teams in a way that helps them push through challenges that might have otherwise stopped them in their tracks.

Jon Gordon addressed this aspect of greatness in his article, “A Culture of Greatness” – “When you create a culture of greatness you create a collective mindset in your organization that expects great things to happen—even during challenging times.” 

  • Customers stick with companies they believe in. We all enjoy being part of something special.  This is especially true for customers who are counting on us to not only deliver what we promise but to help them compete more effectively in their own marketplace.  Customers who know they can count on you to rise above the rest are much more likely to stick with you for the long haul.
  • Good is simply not good enough.  Markets are full of “good” products, solutions, services and providers.  Companies who push past “good” to deliver greatness set themselves a part from the crowd.  This sets the stage for higher customer and employee retention, helps justify premium pricing, helps to attract talent to the team and gives the sales and marketing team an advantage in their efforts to attract new customers.

Want to learn more about achieving greatness?  Check out this list of “26 Qualities That Will Lead You to Greatness” by Lolly Daskal – President and CEO, Lead From Within 


I would love to hear your stories about chasing perfection and achieving greatness.  Let’s start a conversation #GreatnessMatters