Seeking perfection is the business of excellent organizations. Like a coach who helps you visualize victory prior to tip off, great leaders have a way of describing what perfection looks like for their organization. This leadership is particularly important in large organizations where managers waste so much energy protecting the status quo and avoiding failure that there is little left for progress. They become stuck, mired in mediocrity.
When stuck, asking “perfect world” questions is a useful tool. Creating a vision of the perfect world helps a leader guide others to a better future. By exploring the ideal, leaders bypass obstacles that make the trip look impossible and then by scanning back separate real barriers from the assumptions, biases, and excuses that unnecessarily impede progress.
Clearly, there are no perfect organizations; but then again, there are no great organizations that aren’t in the business of trying to be perfect. The quest for perfection fires a great leader’s engine and should fire yours too. They ask questions like:
- In a perfect world, how would we demonstrate our values?
- In a perfect world, how would we treat our customers, employees, and partners?
- In a perfect world, how would we deliver on our vision?
- In a perfect world, how would others see us?
Maybe it’s time to ask what’s keeping you and your organization from that perfect world. Of course, in a perfect world, you’d already know.
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