In a recorded interview, a prominent artist* of the Southwest US discussed his process and the concept of his works being “completed, but not finished.” In his mind, if he worked at it too much and attempted to make a painting or sculpture perfect, he was in fact degrading the final outcome of the work.

Is your work or the work of those you lead degraded by the pursuit of perfection? Pursuit of perfection can delay reaping the benefits. Pursuit of perfection can block out time to capitalize on new opportunities.

The perfect house may not exist, but one that can house a family in security, comfort, and joy can. A perfect plan may not exist, but one that has been rigorously vetted and well socialized around the organization can. Work will expand to fill allotted time. If we have months and months to prepare a presentation, is it really materially better than a presentation we had a week or two to think about?

Maintain high standards, but make standards attainable. Wondering if something is good enough or not? Simply get outside perspective from trusted others and move on. Don’t wait for the perfect time, create the best actions for the time at hand. Do that and you will likely get much more completed that is high quality and timely.


*Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia’s works can still be viewed at his gallery in the Tucson, Arizona area