Great is the Enemy of Getting Started

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By Jeff Ottman, Partner & EVP - Operations (Nashville, TN)

During the last Talent Theme Live, Shari Strong of Relationship Architects made the statement that “great is the enemy of getting started.” My interpretation is that we will never succeed where our intent is immediate greatness, if not perfection. Therefore, getting started is more important than setting a perfect outcome. The quote intrigued me as I have struggled with this in my past.

For example, two years ago, we presented an organizational structure with the objective of empowering our employees, expanding the decision making, and affirming our service culture. This structure elevated the functional and operational teams, giving them a greater voice while providing more accountability. I wanted the perfect solution to achieve those objectives. In developing a solution, I found the thought process difficult and delivered a sub-par presentation. And I am pretty certain my presentation described the audience as big dogs.

Fortunately for me, the team understood the fundamental vision and collaborated to move it forward. After 24 months, the outcomes seem to support the refined vision. We continue to see positive improvements with tenant satisfaction, client feedback, internal team-building, employee retention, and improved process engagement. Intuitively, we sensed an opportunity existed, but it almost did happen because we were expecting immediate perfection. And if we had not started, then where would we be today?

Let’s be better than we were yesterday and learn today that which will make us better tomorrow. And should we err tomorrow, let’s learn how to use that the day after. We just need to get started!