Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

Several years ago, my sister gave me a book about how to deal with the controlling perfectionists in our lives. She said I might benefit from an impartial description of — get this — me.

Ouch.

Okay, so I only had two standards: perfect and unacceptable. That didn’t make me a bad person did it?

It’s not like I imposed my unreasonably high standards on my family or people at work. After all, I’ve always said, “Don’t let perfection get in the way of good enough.” And I talked plenty about building a culture where failures are learning experiences and not short-cuts to the unemployment line, of embracing our own failures as stepping stones on the road to self-improvement, yadda yadda yadda.

Other people’s failures, of course.

So what’s the problem with having unreasonably high standards?
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5 Ways to Deal with a Malcontent

— What’s that pain in my neck??

Note: This is updated from a 2008 article I wrote, same general subject. Seems the issue is still hanging around…

You know who I’m talking about, too. Those people who just never seem happy; who always see the negative even when the message is positive; who suspect ulterior motives regardless of act. They are the literal “pain in your neck” (or some other anatomical part…). (more…)

Reducing Turnover is Simple – It Can Be Easy, Too!

reducing TurnoverFar too many organizations spend too much of their time and money trying to figure out why their employees are leaving. Maybe the question they should be asking themselves is “why would they want to stay?”

Turnover costs are a fact of life, and some are harder to quantify than others – like losing a great employee that was really starting to make a difference in the business. I think the best way to start reducing turnover is to look at some of the causes. (more…)

Your Talent Doesn’t Want to be Managed!

Finding and keeping talented employees is at or near the top of nearly every senior leadership survey I’ve seen lately. Seems like the time should be right for the talent management gurus to show off their stuff and make a bundle. Throw a bunch of money at it and see what that gets you.

Guess what leaders? Your talent doesn’t want to be managed any more than you do.

They want you to put your leadership pants and skirts on and create a work environment where they’re motivated and challenged to do exceptional work.

In short, lead them! (more…)