Number 7 - We need to do a full job -not just half a job

I can’t remember exactly when I first heard the expression ‘if a job is worth doing its worth doing well’.  It was probably my mum who had a thing about only doing ‘half a job’, whether tidying my bedroom or washing the dishes.

Today I am sometimes referred to as a perfectionist.   I don’t for one minute believe I am however, I do believe that if a job is worth doing its worth doing well – amazing what sticks from a very young age.

Of course, this raises two questions – is the job worth doing, and what does ‘doing it well’ mean.

Recently I have spent a good deal of time writing training materials for busines leaders and found that I often had to talk about ‘not cutting corners’.  Then I caught myself talking about when its ok to do that.  Most of us know that if we had to take our driving test today we would probably fail because we have lost many of the disciplines needed to pass the test.  We in effect ‘take shortcuts’ or ‘cut corners’ – hopefully not literally on the last one.

This has made me think quite a bit about being an ‘expert’.  Maybe we would not give ourselves that title but then would recognise that we have a level of expertise.  Possibly it comes from being in the same job role or organisation for a number of years.  We have learned the ropes, got used to things and know how everything is done.

My point?  Maybe best expressed with another of those good old sayings ‘familiarity breeds contempt’.  We are just so used to how things are done and what our business or organisation is about that we have lost the thrust of fresh and insightful thinking.

As an external consultancy it is a great joy to work with clients and see the scales fall from their eyes when we point out things that have been staring them in the face for ages, but they just have not seen – another wonderful saying ‘what you tolerate becomes your norm.’

And don’t get me wrong we can suffer from that ourselves and therefore regularly allow others to help us see our blind spots.

Whatever your current role, strategy or objectives make sure you approach it with wide open eyes and a determination to have a fresh approach and do a ‘full job’ not just a half one.

All the very best
John Taylor

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