In early 2000 I was one of the first employees of Scott Blanchard‘s Coaching.com enterprise. Executive coach experts Madeleine Homan and Linda Miller helped our team craft a fabulous process and web platform which enables Blanchard coaches to help clients learn, grow, and prosper. I learned a great deal in my two years with that business! This blog’s topic has made a tremendous impact on my effectiveness as a consultant and executive coach.

In coaching, the concept of perfection aims at getting the leader to understand that their behavior, decisions, and actions are logical, rational outcomes of their beliefs and thoughts. The situation they find themselves in, right this minute, is driven by their behavior, decisions, and actions over time. This is a cause > effect circumstance; the cause (the leader’s beliefs and thoughts) lead directly to the effect (the leader’s behavior, decisions, and actions). As a coach, you can easily see how the resulting effect is entirely driven by the underlying cause. The results are “perfect.” You wouldn’t expect to see any different behaviors, decisions, or actions, given that leader’s core beliefs and thoughts.

In my consulting work with senior leaders and executive teams across a variety of industries, the concept of perfection is a powerful tool to help leaders assess their organization’s culture. A company’s culture evolves over time based upon the beliefs and thoughts of it’s leaders (cause) which logically leads to consistent behavior, decisions, and actions demonstrated by members that live in that culture (effect).

Look around the organizational culture you live in. If you experience caring leaders who demonstrate respect and trust for their staff and who celebrate successes and wins along the way, then the underlying beliefs and thoughts are being played out in that culture. It is perfect!

On the other hand, if you experience leaders who take credit for your work, who pit employees against each other, and who rejoice in “catching people doing things wrong,” then the underlying beliefs and thoughts are being played out in that culture. It, too, is perfect!

If you experience “less than positive” behaviors, decisions, and actions in your organization’s culture, understand that people are acting exactly as you would expect. If you want more positive behaviors, decisions, and actions, you have an opportunity to begin work to change the underlying beliefs and thoughts of leaders in your organization. That, however, is a topic for another day!

How does the concept of perfection play out in YOUR organization (or community or family)? Share your thoughts on this powerful idea in the comments section below.

S. Chris Edmonds

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of The Culture Engine and six other books.
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  1. I like it Chris. It’s amazing though how I would describe perfection as an entrepreneur and how that definition varies from when I worked Harvard Business Publishing before starting my own business. Now perfection is a form of procrastination. I didn’t think of that way when I worked for a company. But now that I have my own, I can’t seem to let go of things and accomplish what I need to. My 0.02 worth, but good article.

    • I love this concept – thanks for adding your insights, Connie! Once leaders understand the concept, they can shift behaviors and activities to create a NEW, desired perfection. Good luck with the journey –
      Cheers!

      C.

      S. Chris Edmonds, MHROD  MacBook Air & iMac DrivingResultsThroughCulture.com