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Perfection vs. Credibility

I love this quote, because it's fun and shows a little personality. There's a small bit of humility, then SMACK, not really!

But, digging a little deeper, being "perfect" is hard, impossible even. But, if you're like me, sometimes you really strive for perfection. The perfect husband. The perfect father. The perfect friend, businessman, Christian, writer, whatever.

How crazy is that?

I know I'm not perfect and never will be, yet when I fall short of perfection, I get frustrated and feel disappointed with myself. Stupid, right? It's like I'm just setting myself up for failure. Why not just aim a little lower??

But, that's not the point. The goal is not to cut my expectations down, so they're more "realistic", the point is to continue to strive for perfection, but give myself a break when I don't reach it. Then, get up and try again, and again and again and again.

Less than perfect shows we're HUMAN, it shows we're REAL and HONEST.

In business, the same is true. Often, we're afraid to show any weakness or imperfection at all. But, it's in the imperfections that we build credibility. Answering a question with "I don't know" makes you extremely vulnerable; but it shows that you're not perfect, and that leads to credibility. Then, you can go find the answer, which leads to more credibility.

There are very few professions where being perfect is necessary, I wouldn't want my heart surgeon NOT to be perfect! But, for most of us, we're not in a life or death situation.

Not being perfect is okay.

I'd much rather work with a programmer who has admitted to making a mistake and learning from it, and that he's still not perfect, but continues to learn and grow in his craft. Working with that guy is much better than dealing with the guy who thinks he's perfect, then tries to hide any mistakes or blames someone else when something doesn't go as planned.

The same is true with your customers.

Restaurants are a perfect example. It's REALLY hard to be PERFECT - especially when people can be so picky, right? Sometimes things just don't go as planned - a burger may not be cooked perfectly to the request of the patron, or service may not be perfect for a number of reasons (new staff, a big crowd, etc.).

The worst thing to do in these situations is to fight back, trying to defend yourself for NOT being perfect! (ie. Kitchen Nightmare Meltdown).

Instead, admit you're not perfect. Apologize and offer to make it up or ask for another try. These are the moments when credibility is built.

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