Reflections on Leadership: Leaders Don’t Wait for Perfection

Weekly Inspiration

Leaders Don’t Wait for Perfection

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about this week but I had an experience that made this topic jump out at me. I will tell my story and then talk about the leadership lesson.

I woke up in the morning and looked at the temperature and our Columbus winter warm snap was continuing — it was almost 50 degrees at 5:30. It would be the perfect morning to get suited up and go for an outdoor run. Unfortunately I looked outside and it was raining pretty steadily and fog was building so thick that I couldn’t see a full block ahead of me.

The morning weather was definitely not the ideal running conditions so I had a choice to make:

  1. Skip the run and make it a rest day and hope for the best tomorrow
  2. Don the hat and rain jacket and go out anyway

I bet you already guessed how this story ends:


I decided not to let the less-than-perfect weather hold me back. I have goals to achieve (less than 90 days until my next half marathon) and I was going to go out for my run.

After making the hard choice not to accept the easy path I ended up having a phenomenal run. It felt great, I kept a steady pace and enjoyed the sights along the way – I love fog! It also led me to have an epiphany about leadership….

Leaders have a similar choice — they can spend a lifetime waiting for conditions to be perfect or just start moving. The best leaders have a goal, have a basic plan and just start moving. As they progress towards their goal they refine the plan as needed. In project management we call this progressive elaboration and rolling wave planning.

For leaders to accomplish big goals they have to commit and go – they focus on speed before perfection.

Call to Action:stop waiting for perfection and push yourself and your team to take a step forward. It might be scary to start moving without knowing everything but it doesn’t get any less scary as you watch the days fly by without progress.

About Reflections on Leadership

Reflections on Leadership is my weekly article series reflecting on what it means to be a great leader. I hope that these thoughts can help you with your own leadership development journey.

My mission for Operation Melt is to help you melt away all of the obstacles to achieving your goals, not just your fitness goals. So, helping us all become better leaders is fully aligned with that mission. Maybe this will help achieve the Operation Melt vision…

To create a world where goals never die of loneliness.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your perspective on this topic, my Reflections on Leadership series or anything else via a comment on this post, a share on social media or message me directly.

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