Back in the Saddle. The Progressing Perfectionist

Hello again,

It’s Paul Fox back with the Constructive Coaching blog.

Where have I been and why am I back… is anyone interested!?

Way back around 2009 I took a break from producing my own ezine and co wrote on a monthly ezine ‘The Leader’. The Leader became a published book ’21st Century People Leadership’.

So now the book project is done and I’m going back to my independent roots.

I’m really keen to write freely and widely on all manner of topics around being a good manager, great leader, productive employee, profitable partner, inspiring owner. Whatever your job or title is, for want of a better expression… just being the best you can be – and having a life not just a job.

I don’t think my style has changed much – so if you ‘enjoyed me the first time around’ chances are we’ll pick up nicely again! I’m using this blog software which, allows me to post stuff at will and for instant comment to be made – I hope we set off some great conversational threads. Welcome back.

I have come along way with my IT skills – but not all the way clearly, as this should have been my 1st blog, but it went out in 2nd place!

So on the subject of being perfect…

My friend in Portland just sent me some dice. I don’t know why but she did!

Anyway, those dice now have pride of place on my desk. Why? A few days back I was procrastinating about making a call that could seal a deal and just could not get the conversation ‘right’ in my head. So I had this thought. Just roll the dice. Just roll the dice, pick the phone up, get your heart in your mouth and your bottle in your hand and ask for what you want Paul”.

So I did. One thing led to another and the deal is sealed. I could have spent a lifetime perfecting that conversation in my head ‘trying to get it perfect’.

Are you a perfectionist? Do you know anyone who is? Let’s look at the drive to be perfect and what it can cost you and your business progress.

What’s so bad about being good? Nothing at all, but trying to be perfect can cost you a lot in terms of progress, mental exhaustion and dynamic relationships.

People who can mobilise themselves in the face of tough problems are usually those who don’t worry about being perfect. They’re happy to move ahead with a partial solution, trusting that they’ll invent the rest as they go along. Contrary to what the experts might say, to some degree or other most of us ARE making it up as we go along, because each one of us, our businesses, our relationships, our markets are all unique and in unique combinations.

Now, perfectionists will try to tell you that their relentless standards drive them to levels of productivity and excellence that they couldn’t otherwise attain.

But often just the opposite is true.

Perfectionists usually accomplish less, because they waste so much time paralysed by fear of failure. They won’t start anything until they know how to finish it without any mishaps and they won’t finish anything until its perfect.

That’s a tough regime.

Even though they don’t know exactly how they’re going to do something, high-performing people keep their vision of the end-result uppermost in their minds and forge ahead anyway. They believe that they’ll get the help they need (and they ask for it), find the resources they need, and figure out the how-to’s as they go — and they usually do.

They know the key is getting started and the result will flow out of momentum.

Paul Fox

Paul Fox has been active as a Construction Industry Performance Coach for the last 20 years and remains at the forefront of Collaborative Working and High Performance Team Behaviours. He disrupts the status quo of individuals, project and senior teams who want exponentially more output with much less struggle.


  1. Hi Paul
    Good to see you back in circulation. If you find yourself with time to spend and you are around North Somerset / Bristol give me a call. I would be happy to catch up and buy you a coffee or beer.
    ps Please pass on my best wishes to Talane

    • Thanks Peter. It’s a deal – lots to catch up on I am sure. Talane sends her best in return.
      I’ll give you a call next week.

  2. talane miedaner Says: September 16, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Glad to have you back in the saddle again!

  3. good observations in your article Paul, I have seen lots of evidence to back this up over my career. I believe that a lot of people know this to be true, but still struggle to find the courage/energy to overcome the inertia/fear of getting going…
    hope you are well