You should try to set high standards for the service you provide. You need to have high-quality employees. However, you should not aim for perfection.

Perfection has an alter ego: procrastination.

Many times people with good ideas sit around on them, awaiting that perfect time, that perfect product, that perfect person to come along—or that perfect plan.

Perfection is an illusion.

A high-performance team can excel at tasks when its members take their roles seriously. There is an inexplicable energy that one feels as a member of a small team working with purpose. Success breeds success, the saying goes. When you are working out a problem and everyone is in sync with the objectives, the ideas flow and the answers come; time seems not to matter. No one worries about the missing apostrophe or the misspelling. Indeed, mistakes happen less because people, generally, are more motivated toward achievement, and the little things get done better, resulting in better big things.

The suitability of staff plays an important role. A qualified, motivated, and empowered employee fits into the picture more easily. Remember, the caution against a perfection drive is not to suggest tolerance of incompetence. But many times the reason for low standards stems from the poor choice of team members. In such cases, when output standards are raised, the capability mismatch creates stress, and what might be a normal expectation based on the required outputs (for competent staff) manifests itself as a drive for perfection (by substandard staff).

Another reason for the perfection quest is the fear of failure. If the idea of failing puts you into mental convulsions, then you might send out stress signals and become a perfection seeker. This places unrealistic demands on both you and your associates. This is especially so if team members are not qualified or otherwise able to measure up.

Some signs that might indicate the perfection trap are:

1. Not forgetting errors

2. Hating to lose and never letting go

3. Not recognizing a middle ground (always all or nothing)

4. Hardly seeking help; you know it all, and you do it all.

5. Being overly persistent (While persistence is good, spending your energy on too many small things can only be draining.)

6. Constantly finding faults

7. Being driven crazy by cluttered spaces and resenting those who operate in this way

Author's Bio: 

Alrick Robinson is the author of The Small Business Survival Guide: Insights into the First Two Years. I invite you to download a free chapter and introduction to by book at You may also visit my blog at where I share small business resources and survival tips weekly.