“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.“ –Mark Twain
If only some of our leaders could embrace this, our companies and social institutions would be better off. I know countless examples of leaders, managers or peers who want to “get it right” or “make sure they’ve looked at the options.” Wanting to make things better, they hold on to their control. In taking responsibility, they forget the simple truth that a leader is there to pave the way and allow others to make things happen. They get in the middle of things to make sure it goes their way and ultimately get in the way of long-term progress.
Success builds upon failure. Learning happens when we make mistakes. Fear of failure and mistakes causes us to let opportunity slip by. Others wind up making changes that we could have been part of. Instead of asking that person out, we hold back in our fear. Instead of asking for a raise or promotion, we keep out mouth shut in fear of retribution or being told no. Incremental change, no matter how good or bad in the long run is better. Over time we learn how to ask someone out and be successful. When we take chances, eventually we will get positive feedback, a promotion or get the response we intended from that significant other. We simply need to make a choice and take action. If our environment or situation doesn’t like what we did, we will find out well enough.
To become a leader in our own lives, we have to set our vision and get out of the way of ourselves. Once we understand our intent, our goals and objectives become clear. Our decisions and actions follow. There is no perfect solution or approach. We simply need to take a step along our path and see what happens. Decide, act and observe whether you are closer to your desire or not and then adjust accordingly. Let what ever happens, happen.
This approach is letting go of the immediate consequences and adopting a long-view. So don’t delay, do something now about improving your situation. If that doesn’t work out, then do something else all the while keeping your vision of what you intend over the long-term.