Perfection, Excellence, or Good Enough?

What standard should you shoot for?  And what standard should you ask for?  Should you ever be content with “good enough” or is that compromising?

It’s an important question for your church leadership to ask, and answer, because these qualitative measurements can not only inspire and motivate – they can just as easily confuse and frustrate.  I’ve seen this first hand in my leadership of worship, creative and production teams and out of that experience, I’d like to share 4 suggestions:

1 .  Be crystal clear about what success looks and feels like – what the win is. This is especially important for your weekend worship services.  The Creative, Worship & Tech-Arts teams need this context to win.

2.  Ruthlessly eliminate all forms of “perfection” from yourself and your people. Perfection isn’t just unattainable, it’s an impediment to success. When you see it in your people (or yourself) eradicate it; Don’t tolerate it!

3.  Make “excellence” your consistent standard; BUT remember that excellence has variability built into it.  Develop an operating definition of excellence to mitigate the variables and prevent confusion with perfection. For example:  “Do the best you can with what you have in the amount of time you have to do it.”

4.  Allow room for projects and environments where “good enough” is the standard. Excellence can often inhibit creativity and risk taking. Often “the pursuit of excellence” can lead artists to endlessly tweak.

Willow Creek Community Church says, “Excellence honors God and inspires people.”  I completely agree.  Perfectionism dishonors people and distrusts God.  God doesn’t want perfectionism.  How do I know that?  Because we are not capable of it.

“Good Enough,” however, can provide artistic freedom and risk -taking, both of which fuel innovation.

Excellence needs innovation to remain excellent, so learn how make “good enough” a strategic partner of “excellence” and always define success as clearly as possible  so everyone understands the context and the win.

Ted Vaughn | Tech Arts

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