What is the difference between excellence and perfection? The dictionary defines excellence as ‘the fact or state of excelling’ and perfection as ‘the highest degrees of proficiency, skill or excellence as in an art form’. If you believe, as I do, that management is both art and science, then can we attain perfection in our job as a manager? Or do we work toward excellence?
If we think of the difference between what is means to be in the state of or the highest degree, it is clear we choose excellence. It is something to work toward. Perfection would indicate the finished product. As a manager, we are never finished growing and learning. Our job is ever evolving so the pursuit of excellence, not perfection, is what we work toward. What does excellence in management involve? Characteristics that come to mind are: the willingness to be open and sharing as much information as possible, listening to others, giving up our need to be right, and being honest with oneself and others. Almost every relationship problem has its roots in the lack of communication between the two parties. One or both fail to: 1.) share information 2.) listen for understanding 3.) make the other person wrong or 3.) tell the truth. What a different world we could create by seeking excellence instead of perfection. Do you agree? I welcome your thoughts.