How To Be Productive When You’re A Perfectionist

In the mortgage industry, perfectionism is almost a prerequisite. Making sure you’ve crossed your “t”s and dotted your “i”s has always been imperative in the business but, with the increasing regulation in recent years, it has really come to the forefront. As a leader in your organization, making sure everything is on the up-and-up is certainly one of your top priorities.

Of course, it’s good to have everything in order and know what your doing. As they say, fortune favors the prepared. However, being too focused on getting things right can also backfire. We’ve all heard of “paralysis by analysis.” When we want everything to be perfect, sometimes we fail to act. We become indecisive. We spend all of our time and energy in preparation, waiting for the stars to align, and we miss the opportunities that could really make a difference in our organizations.

I’ll admit it. It’s a little tricky. There is a very thin line between being a perfectionist who doesn’t get anything done and being so trigger-happy that you mess everything up out of carelessness. Being a great leader is about finding that middle ground–being cautious when it’s merited but also being willing to act when an opportunity presents itself. Possessing this kind of judicious understanding takes time and experience. There is no magic pill to instantly develop it. However, there is something that can help speed the process along…

In his book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, author Mark Batterson speaks of seizing opportunities. He quotes from television producer Mark Burnett, famous for reality shows Survivor and The Apprentice. Burnett says, “Nothing will ever be…perfect. And nothing can be totally planned. The best you can hope for is to be about half certain of your plan and know that you and the team you’ve assembled are willing to work hard enough to overcome the inevitable problems as they arise.”

So, what’s the secret? Did you notice it? When things go awry, as they inevitably will, what can you count on to get you through? The team you’ve assembled. If there is a trick to help you be cautious and productive at the same time, that’s it. It’s all about your team. If you’ve built a competent and talented team, then you don’t really have anything to worry about.

Great leaders know how to delegate. If you try to bear every burden yourself, it will break you. That’s why it’s so important to build a team that you can really trust. You have to be about to rely on the people who ware working for you. They must have integrity, they must work hard, and they must consistently produce results. If you surround yourself by people who know how to get the job done, you won’t have to worry about it.

You’ll never be 100% ready. The timing will never be perfect. The only thing you can do is be as prepared as you can be…and then rely on your team to make the best decisions possible. Don’t worry about getting everything right. Worry about getting the right people in place–and the rest will take care of itself.

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