Before you embark on developing your management skills, begin by thinking about why you want a career in management. Unfortunately, there’s a widespread point of view that unless you get promoted into management, something is wrong. You’re not progressing in your career. That point of view reveals a lack of wisdom.

When someone leaves, I’m always surprised when I encounter indifference (or worse) on the part of that person’s direct supervisor. The “or worse” part is when the supervisor blames the employee. I’ve seen this so often that I absolutely should not be surprised. But I am – I guess because I’m disappointed with that attitude. I guess I take that as a sign that the supervisor doesn’t really care all that much. It bothers me.

There’s nothing fun about getting your wisdom teeth extracted, but mine needed to come out, so I “bit the bullet” and scheduled the surgery. Dr. David Rallis, University of Nebraska and Mayo Clinic trained oral surgeon, was recommended by my Internist as one of the best in town, so of course, that’s who I wanted to do the surgery.

It wasn’t surprising that the surgery went well; that’s the expectation we have of doctors, right? But what I didn’t expect was the follow up Dr. Rallis did himself. Not his nurse or office manager, the doctor provided a caring experience that, in my opinion, set him apart as world-class and why I’m telling this story today. Here’s my experience:

Perfectionism gets a bad rap. In our first post in this two-part series, we wrote about how focusing on the downside of perfectionism – and trying to “fix” it – is the wrong approach. In that post, we shared insights and tips from one of our favorite perfectionists, Maribel Cruz, encouraging people to embrace perfectionism as a strength and use it to optimize their own performance.

Today, we share insights and tips from another of our favorite perfectionists, Christie Calkins Stukenholtz, as she reflects on helpful strategies and lessons learned in the multiple stages she went through to finish a big project to her satisfaction – writing hundreds of thank you notes after her wedding. Here’s Christie’s story:

If someone you care deeply about is having brain surgery, do you want a surgical team that says, “Done is better than perfect,” in the operating room? We don’t!

Too often, people focus only on the downside of perfectionism. Perfectionism, like almost all other character traits, is not inherently desirable or undesirable. It is not something people should work to overcome.  Furthermore, even if you want to overcome it, that’s extremely difficult to do because, like introversion, it’s a character trait.

If you are a perfectionist, we encourage you to embrace it as a strength, not curse it as a flaw. Instead of investing your time trying to shake off your perfectionism, you should seek situations in which being a perfectionist is a good fit. Look for an organization that is passionate about excellence, one that sets high standards for quality and aggressively strives for continuous improvement.

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