Fostering the Right Environment
“Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herd” (Prov 27:23).
Janice was a high level executive who required excellence and exceptional performance from those under her leadership. She was the general manager of a credit card unit when five of her 2,000 employees were found to have deliberately hidden $24 million in losses that she was accountable for. Her “no failure” policy brought great pressure upon her employees and she failed to recognize how this leadership style affected others. It discouraged employees from bringing problems to her. She was an intense perfectionist whom others saw as intimidating and confrontational. She was extremely opinionated. Her subordinates were fearful of reporting any bad news so they lied about it.
Do you feel like what you accomplish is never quite good enough? Do projects have to be just right? Do you feel you must give more than 100 percent on everything you do or else you will be mediocre or even a failure?
Perfectionism refers to a set of self-defeating thoughts and behaviors aimed at reaching excessively high unrealistic goals. Perfectionism is often mistakenly seen in our society as desirable or even necessary for success. However, studies show that perfectionist attitudes actually interfere with success. The desire to be perfect can both rob you of a sense of personal satisfaction and cause you and others to fail to achieve as much as people who have more realistic strivings. Janice lost her job over this situation but was later offered another chance to salvage one of the company’s smaller businesses. She realized that she needed to be much more understanding of people around her. She learned from her experience and succeeded in her next assignment with the company. The solution to becoming a transparent person is to get feedback from those around us. This is the only way we will avoid perfectionism. We must ask for the feedback and be willing to respond to input.
What would others say about your management style? Do you foster dialogue and encourage others to bring issues to your attention? Are you willing to work with your team to solve problems together?