More Notes on Premise #2 and the Perfection Trap

| October 12, 2015
Leadership / Monday, October 12th, 2015

Since life is an ongoing process of “decisions and revisions” (as poet T.S. Eliot put it), certainty can be a sign of false perfection. The same can be said of the tendency among leaders to rush to decision and action in response to arising issues, events, and problems. The desire for closure would seem to be a natural human drive, especially when difficulties surface in an organization. Who wouldn’t want problems to disappear, so that focus can return to positive goals and the mission of the enterprise? Sometimes, the rush to closure can even be a symptom of the heroic model: to appear to efficiently vanquish the enemy on the field of battle. But there is a dangerous trap in the need to immediately put problems to rest. Urgency toward closure can lead to divisions that don’t have the full benefit of available information, create an atmosphere of urgency, alienate others whose views are left behind of the heroic model: to appear to efficiently vanquish the enemy on the field of battle. But there is a dangerous trap in the need to immediately put problems to rest. Urgency toward closure can lead to decisions that don’t have the full benefit of available information, create an atmosphere of urgency, alienate others whose views are left behind in the wake of the decision, and deny the leader the pleasure (yes, pleasure) of entertaining possibilities, expanding awareness, and planning for contingencies.

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