I have been accused of being a perfectionist.

When people call me a perfectionist, their tone of voice and facial expression give the impression that they are describing a diseased person, maybe a mentally diseased person.  Have you seen this?  Have you been called a perfectionist?

I often read Tweets that degrade, deride and condemn perfectionism.  They contend that perfection is impossible or at the least, too difficult to accomplish to make it worth the effort.

Is perfect performance possible?  Does perfect performance require too much effort to make it worth the effort?

Perfect performance is possible; it is difficult but not impossible, and it is certainly worth the effort!

Maybe you don’t, but I do expect perfect performance.  I expected it when I was rolled into the operating room for surgery.  I expected it when my airplane landed.  I expected it when the bank prepared my account statement.

The foolishness that devalues perfect performance discourages the extra effort required for anything beyond mediocre performance.  Why exert yourself if it does not matter?

Count me out!  I’m not buying the glorification of mediocre!  I’m going for the goal!

I’m serious about perfect performance.  I praise perfect performance!

There is a Chick-fil-A restaurant in the Atlanta area that I don’t visit often because it is not near where I live.  Since I have retired, the only time I have been in that neighborhood is when I had my motorhome serviced.  When I took my motorhome for service, I always stopped at that restaurant for an Egg Biscuit.

They make perfect Egg Biscuits! I like to praise the performance of people who perform perfectly.  I don’t praise “almost-perfect” performance.  I am not going to cheapen perfect performance.  I will describe my last visit there and how I praise perfect performance.

I ordered an Egg Biscuit “to go” and went to my car. With the same excitement that I enjoyed as a child opening a Christmas present, I unwrapped it. “Yes!” I shouted.  As always, it was perfect.

I took it back into the restaurant and asked, “Who made my Egg Biscuit?”  When a young man admitted that he was the guilty one, I told him what I thought of his performance.

After attracting as many of the people nearby as I could, customers included, I said, “Look at this biscuit.  It is a perfect size; the top is golden brown so is the bottom. It is perfectly cooked.  You sliced it into two equally sized pieces.  The top is the same thickness as the bottom.  You sliced it level so that the entire pieces are the same thickness.  You cooked the eggs perfectly,  and there is not a scorch mark anywhere, and you folded the cooked eggs to perfectly fit the biscuit.  This looks like a perfect Egg Biscuit.”

Then, I took a bite to taste it.  It was a perfect Egg Biscuit!

That’s when I told them that I had already eaten breakfast because I did not expect to be there that day, but at the last minute decided to bring my motorhome in for service.  As I started home, even though I was not hungry, I just could not force myself to drive past those perfect Egg Biscuits!

Yes!  I love perfect performance!

I have found that when I praise perfect performance, I often get it!

Praise Perfect Performance!

Join me.  Praise perfect performance.  Let’s make perfect performance the goal.  Let’s make perfect performance the norm!

—Jimmy Collins

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