South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday February 18, 2020

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June 2011 - Volume 7 - Issue 12




When is Good Enough, Good Enough?

When Jim Collins in his book Good To Great states that 'good is the enemy of great,' it certainly makes sense. Being good at what we do then becoming complacent about it breeds mediocrity.

However, what I often see in leaders is an inability to accept less than perfect in themselves and others around them. Standards are set. Demands are made. People - leaders and workers alike - become so focused on a perfect outcome that they fail to finish the project on time or they overwork and over stress themselves to the point of illness and/or burnout.
The challenge is to be able to identify what is good enough to be outstanding or excellent without being perfect. The best example I can think of is Serena (real person, fictitious name), a mid-level manager in a mid-sized company, who was working 10 - 12 hours in the office, then dragging extra work home to focus on after everyone in the family went to bed.
An interesting note to consider is that everyone at work could see how hard she was working - way too hard in their opinion. They could see how she was becoming more stressed, emotionally difficult to be around, and seemed to be losing her ability to be effective. They also saw that few other people were working as hard. What was causing this?
Serena was convinced that no one else could do the work as well as she could. Actually, she didn't believe that she could do it up to the standard she had set. This belief caused her to keep going over and over things, not letting go and not moving forward.
Once Serena came to understand that she was actually preventing her staff from assisting her because she believed that no one could do it as well as she could, she was ready to take some action to find more balance both on the job and at home. She learned how to delegate more while maintaining a solid standard. She allowed her people to enhance their skills and become more effective.
It was amazing to watch. Little by little she let go of her overwhelm and took in shorter work days and free time at home. Today she is more even tempered and . . . her department is even more productive! The clients are happy. The boss is happy. Her people are happy. The ultimate outcome? Greater revenues!
Ann Meacham is president of Leadership Dynamics, working with professionals who want to get to the next level and don’t know how. Ann can be reached at or (954) 979-2010.
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