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Why being a perfectionist leader is a perfect mess

As you are aware, leaders are not only responsible for their job, but the work of their direct reports. So it should come as no surprise that most leaders expect top performance from their workers and don’t tolerate mediocrity in their workforce.

But what if your high expectations result in you acting as a perfectionist?

In theory, it would seem that exhibiting perfectionist qualities isn’t necessary a terrible thing. On one hand, it means you are dedicated to performing at the top of your game, and will work harder than anyone else to achieve results. But on the other hand, perfectionism has a negative side that can lead to destructive behaviors.

The definition of perfectionism is the idea that a state of completeness and flawlessness can and should be attained. Perfectionists believe that work or output that is anything less than perfect is unacceptable.

This is why many consider perfectionist bosses the hardest to work with because nothing is ever good enough for them. These kinds of bosses have unrealistic expectations and typically present micromanaging characteristics, which can impact the overall morale of the company. In addition, perfectionists can actually get sidetracked by trying to make everything perfect that they end up halting the progress of a project, and can cause the company to miss deadlines.

Perfectionism not only causes the individual plenty of stress and anxiety, but can make other lives miserable as well.

Here are top five signs of perfectionism according to an article in BBC News:

1.) You can’t stop thinking about a mistake you made

2) You are intensely competitive and can’t stand doing worse than others

3) You demand perfection from other people

4) You won’t ask for help if asking can be perceived as a flaw or weakness

5) You are a fault-finder who must correct other people when they are wrong

One way to overcome these perfectionist tendencies is learning to let go and trusting your employees to get the job done.

However, if you’re unsure of how you are perceived (and if you act as a perfectionist), you could be working with blind spots. The more successful you are, the greater your risk of developing blind spots. One of the best ways to get a clear understanding of your strengths and weakness is gather 360 Feedback from those around you. Feedback can give you the opportunity to adjust your behavior and have a bit more balance in your life.

Let’s reflect for a moment, is perfection even possible? What do you think?

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