Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Good Enough

Come see this beauty in SLP 301!
"And, I think that's good enough!" Those were the words that passed my lips as I randomly drove three
nails into my office wall to re-hang the 8x10 pictures of my family. Last year when I created the collage, I spent over an hour getting them to align in a perfect square with the exact distance between each of the four frames. The truth of it all - that hour would have been better spent elsewhere.

Yesterday, I sat in a meeting with some of the most engaging and competent professionals I have ever known. We spent about 10 minutes discussing in (excruciating) detail a prize giveaway for an event. When we hit the 10 minute mark, I couldn't contain myself any longer. The statement, "I think we have spent enough energy on this." may or may not have come out of my mouth.

So, my message to you today is this... Know what things in your life are fine to be "good enough". So much time and energy is spent getting little things that don't really matter to be just right. What if we spent time on the things that really matter? Over the course of my many years, here are a few gauges I have developed to discern what can be left at good enough.

  • Will anyone else notice or care? I am brave enough to admit that I often am concerned with things that other people really don't care about. As people, we tend to be a little self-obsessed. (Myself included!) I remember the day that I wore navy blue shoes with an all black outfit. I had two pair that were the same style. When I got to work and realized it, I didn't have time to go home. Do you know who noticed? NO ONE. Did it matter to me? Sure. Did anyone else care, much less notice? Nope.
  • What will happen if this isn't perfect? I mean this sincerely... What will happen? Anything life threatening? Catastrophic? There are some things that we do that really do matter if they are on point (risk management comes to mind...), but many other things are really just not that important. We, as leaders, put that pressure on ourselves. When perfection is our standard, it becomes hard to prioritize the things competing for your attention. We should always strive for excellence, but asking this question is a good measure of what can be left at good enough.
  • Will this matter in 5 years, 5 weeks, 5 minutes? This is a Howard Lee special... Goodness I miss that man and the wisdom that only a father can bring. This question was posed throughout my childhood at every turn. It often got an eye roll response from me, but it is good for perspective. Will it really matter? To whom? For how long?
Cheers to you all as you enjoy these last few weeks of summer!

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