Those of us who are in positions of leadership want to get our jobs done, and to make sure that they are done well. We can be a meticulous crew, checking and double-checking our work with a fine-toothed comb, never resting until everything is just so. That zeal for excellence can obviously be a positive trait, yet it can also be taken a bit too far. Perfectionism, when unchecked, can lead to control issues, a lack of delegation, indecision, and lost productivity. And I have encountered many business leaders who allow their own perfectionist tendencies to spiral out of control.
The question is, have yours? Has your perfectionist streak officially become a liability? There are a few ways to tell—including a handful of dead giveaways:
- You become defensive when you receive feedback. A good leader recognizes his or her own flaws and accepts meaningful criticism from others; if you find yourself bristling at the suggestion that you might do things differently, it could be a perfectionism issue.
- You’re needlessly critical of others. Offering constructive feedback is part of your job as a boss; nitpicking everyone for not doing things exactly how you would do them, or offering feedback that doesn’t have actionable value, is not.
- You’re a procrastinator. I see it all the time: Procrastination as a way to avoid tackling big tasks, because you know that your perfectionist tendencies will make those big tasks massively time-consuming and difficult.
- You’re always beating yourself up. Everyone makes mistakes, and the important thing is to learn from them—not kick yourself for every little misstep or lapse in judgment.
- You’re daunted by risk. Too afraid to rock the boat, or to think outside the box? Paralyzed by the thought of creative thinking? The reason may be your slant toward perfectionism.
- You’re terrified of being rejected. If your greatest fear is that people won’t like you or won’t appreciate what you do, that effectively prohibits you from ever really leading or taking initiative.
You can’t always achieve perfection—and if you exhibit any of these traits, you’re trying too hard!
This article originally appeared in Dr. Rick Goodman’s Blog.
This article was written by Rick Goodman from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.