Progress Over Perfection aka Do It This Week

Note to self:  “Perfection is the enemy of progress.” Winston Churchill

I know I’m not the only one that has put off highly visible tasks due to resisting being “seen” and possibly criticized. It’s a thing. A very real thing almost every one of us have had the displeasure of experiencing. It’s also a progress killer, a creativity killer, and if you’re a leader looking for perfection in your people, it’s a motivation killer.

Brain physiology, ego, shame, past experience, whatever the root of your perfectionism the outcome will be the same, a waste of your (and your employer’s) time. The bad news is it can suck to feel the paralysis of analysis, or mentally blocked, and/or exhausted from just being sick of re-running all the possible scenarios. The good news is that perfection isn’t a solid, definable thing. It’s subjective.

Almost all of us have tortured ourselves over some work project wondering if it was “good enough” or subject to criticism. I’m not suggesting you half-heartedly pursue your commitments; however, I am suggesting you find the right environment where your whole-hearted effort is valued and constructive feedback is in play. If you are paralyzed into a lesser level of productivity due to fear of criticism, ridicule, etc., the big question isn’t, ‘Will this be good enough?’ The big question is actually, “Is this the right environment for me?’

Discovering Your Why

Visit to learn more about
The Why Institute’s Discover Your Why tool.

Because I train supervisors and coach C-suite and others looking to change their path and/or dynamic, I’m constantly intrigued when I come across tools to help people self identify their passion, purpose, and/or path. Recently while reading Robert Glazer’s book “Elevate” (a later blog post), I saw in recommended resources the Why Institute. I was intrigued by the what is your why tool, so I went ahead and paid to take it and the following is my review of my experience.

The website itself is fairly concise and intuitive when you hit the landing page. The cost with tax was a bit over $48 and honestly, I barely did a cursory glance to see what I’d be getting for that investment. I tend to be an urgency addict so I just wanted to jump into the process.

Once you pay you go straight to the set of questions that will determine your personal ‘why’. I should have counted the questions but, again, I’m an urgency addict, and seriously, with my ‘why’ only moments away I forged ahead. I can share however that the process took less than 5 minutes. All the questions are groups of statements that you simply read and pick the one you most identify with, super easy. That’s it process-wise. After that, you just sit back and learn your why.

Your why comes with a dashboard that is intuitive and both video and written resources. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was after the questions and before my results, I had to fill in some demographic information. Nothing too intense, and in all fairness, it is a great way to gather and support strong marketing; however, I’m not always crazy about sharing things like birth date, and not always wild about burning my time (I know it is very little of it, but I just wanted my results) sharing how I heard about the web site, etc.

Over the years I’ve used so many of these types of tools for feedback. Some good, some bad, some indifferent. This one falls in the ‘good’ category. It hit my ‘why’ on the head and the sample phrases it gave for people with my ‘why’ were 100% accurate. The career choices it suggested included both past and present things I do, so I have to say I felt validated, as it was an accurate read of my ‘why’ both generally and specifically. My favorite piece of all the feedback that came with my ‘why’ however was the identification of “The Challenge”. The summary of how my ‘why’ can create internal challenges and the recommended solution to overcome them.

Long story short, if you’re looking for guidance on a path, or validation about the path you’re on, identifying your ‘why’ can help tremendously. And while this specific tool isn’t an extremely deep dive, it is most likely enough to help guide you along your path for less than an hour with a consultant or coach would cost you.

Urgent vs Important

It is true, many of us work and/or live in environments that are fueled by doing what is ‘urgent’. The question is, who defines what is urgent? My hope is you answered you do, but there is a large chance based on the world we operate within you didn’t. That’s why you may need to hit pause and define YOUR objectives and desired path. You don’t have to figure it all out, but at least take a beat and write down what you’d like (even if it is just one thing) your focus to be and/or life to look like. Start to plant the seeds YOU want to see grow.

It is important to occasionally take a step back and review your own mission, goals, etc. and determine if your daily actions and activities are leading you towards YOUR definition of positive outcomes and success or away from it. Don’t get trapped in someone else’s cycle of urgency?

What Is A/Your Zone of Genius?

What is your zone of genius?  A lot of us reside in a working world hanging out in either a zone of competence, or zone of excellence.  This may sound like a positive, but hanging out in a zone of competence or even excellence is why we have over 70% of employees disengaged.

How do you know what/where your zone of genius resides?  Easy.  It is whatever gives you the highest ratio of satisfaction and target income and makes you feel wonderful doing it, knowing you are really great at it.  It is earning a living doing something you really love, not just something you are good at.  A zone of genius feeds you, not just because of ego driven “I’m good at this”, but because you are good at it, and you find it deeply satisfying, which cycles into additional positive energy further feeding your pursuits.