We Are All Perfct

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A new word has entered the business nomenclature. Trendy words and phrases come and go and some stick around longer than others. See: Think outside the box. The new word snuck into the business world jargon while we were still getting synergized and checking our bandwidth. It shows itself so often now that we don’t even hear it anymore. The word is PERFECT.

Here is how it is used: Me: I’d like to make a withdrawal from my account please.

Banker: Perfect!

I am thinking, it’s not perfect. Perfect would be if I was making a big deposit. Or, here is another recent interaction at the auto dealership.

Me: Is my car ready?

Car dealer cashier: Yes, it’s ready, the bill is $1,770.

Me: Ugh. Here is my credit card.

Cashier: Perfect.

I am thinking, no, perfect would be if the bill was zero or better, if you paid me. Like caught in a trap, I found myself recently using the word:

The IT guy: OK, your laptop is ready and you lost no data.

Me: Ahhhh, perfect!

I like things that are perfect but very few things are, in fact, perfect. In fact, in business practically nothing is perfect and most of us don’t even try for that state. Good enough might be the goal. Hey, “Good enough” used to be in the jargon and served as a response to things too as in, “I’ll be late so start the meeting without me”. And the response might be, “Good enough”.

No matter what we say, “good enough” shouldn’t be the goal but “perfect” shouldn’t be the goal either. Perfect as a goal can prevent us from moving forward. How often have you heard statements like, “The website isn’t perfect so let’s wait” and two years later the crappy old website is still up waiting for perfection. But good enough can’t be a goal either because it can indicate that only the bare minimum required has been met. Give the choice between the “good enough” or “perfect”, “perfect” might be better.

The word “perfect” in business may have replaced the word “awesome” and that could be an improvement. Just recognize when it comes to providing a service; “perfect” is hardly ever achieved so set your expectations and that of the customer. Although if I ever go in for brain surgery, I hope that perfection is realized.

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