Perfection vs. Excellence


How good is good enough?

Over my career, I’ve dealt with many perfectionists, business owners or managers that demanded that each employee perform every task to perfection. This unrealistic drive for perfection created problems for the employees and cost the company time and money.

The pursuit of excellence is a good way to challenge yourself to do better, to improve continually while perfectionism is an obsessive pursuit of the unattainable. One of the problems with perfectionism is that it is subjective. One person’s perfect result can be another’s blemished outcome. Perfection is a personal opinion; it is not something that can be reached.

In business, trying to achieve perfection can cost your company time, money and sometimes clients. One perfectionist business owner I knew had to review his employees’ work regardless of their proficiency at their job. The owner would duplicate the work he had just paid an employee to do. This created a bottleneck that prevented the company from delivering their services, products, invoices, and payments on time.

In the example above, by switching to the pursuit of excellence, the owner could have reduced the amount of time he spent on oversite. Changing to a program of reviewing the employees’ work and training them to work toward the level of performance expected of them would free up the owner’s time to be more productive in other areas.

Contact Arbutus Management Consulting today so we can help you achieve excellence for your business.



Greg McKeown, 2016, Harvard Business Review,

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