by Adam Zack — October 3, 2018
Perfect is the most over-used word in America.
Example: “I refilled the toilet paper.”
Really? It’s such a standard response to any positive statement that I think it’s totally lost its meaning. To me, perfect is perfection, as in you can’t get any better. It’s as good as possible. The best. Flawless. Wouldn’t change a thing. No criticism possible. 100%. Every answer right. For our use today I think we need to redefine it, because for it to be useful, especially considering how it’s thrown around as often as “ummm…” and “you know”, it should be attainable by more than the smartest, best or luckiest. But it still needs to be special. We don’t want it to be the equivalent of the participation trophy. I propose the perfect will now mean “really, really, really good.” Maybe even “great”. I want to be able to tell an employee that the work they did was perfect without having to say to myself that it could have used a tiny tweak here or a small adjustment there. It doesn’t have caveats. We need to factor effort and enthusiasm into the scoring equation to keep getting great results from our employees. I don’t know if there has ever been a promotion or marketing campaign that is truly perfect, but there have been a hell of a lot that are way better than most and that produce outstanding results. If we held our kids, or our spouses, or ourselves to the true perfect standard there’d be a lot of depressed and disappointed people who would never even get a whiff of perfection. They wouldn’t even be allowed to be in the same room. Perfect needs to be something that can be touched and savored. The new perfect is whole hearted, really cares and fully invested. It’s really, really, really good.
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