This morning Mike Sansone posted a quick note on Perfection.

Do you struggle with wanting everything to be “just so” before you get started? Are you looking for a sure fired guarantee that you will see the results you want so you can take that first step to get into action?

Are you a planner? I am.

I have been through long years of training and an even longer career where working out the details, preparing contingencies, covering my bases, and yes, even getting my ducks in a row.

Are you more comfortable working out the details than pulling the trigger?

Well Mike gives us a great reminder this morning. Ducks move. They are living things that don’t necessarily understand or care that we want them to line up in just the right way.

But Mike goes one step further and really drives the point home.

The only sure-fire way to get your ducks aligned perfectly is to kill ’em – but then what do you have left? Dead Ducks. That wouldn’t be good.

Ooch!

A roundhouse punch of truth that leaves us perfectionists staggering!

Yes there is a place for planning. It is tremendously valuable. Yes! And Yes again!

But.

There comes a time when we must move. Plans are meaningless without implimentation. They are completely wasted.

And here is the kicker. Once we get into motion our plans will need to change anyway to adapt to the changing circumstances.

Back when I was in the military we were taught von Moltke’s maxim early on.

No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.

Once we get into motion things will change. Motion is movement and it is rarely predictable. Ducks move.

The key is to keep from becoming infatuated with our plans. Think of them more as guidelines than actual rules. Allow yourself to adapt, improvise, and overcome.

That is a radical and liberating concept for us perfectionists.

And it is freeing for people on the other side of the coin too. Are you the kind of person who doesn’t plan at all because you want to leave your options open?

If you are, please understand that plans can change. It is allowed. I looked it up.

By planning just a little it will greatly reduce your own stress. And it will likely reduce the conflict in your organization because the rest of the folks will have a better understanding of what you are trying to achieve. Some of us work a whole lot better when we can see a glimpse of what our desired destination looks like.

And if you are a perfectionist, you better get in motion or you’ll be stuck with dead ducks!

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