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How Deep to Dig

Do you ever wonder if you are asking too much, digging too deep or simply have expectations that others seldom seem to meet?

The drive for excellence, not equating excellence with perfection here, is an awesome journey for those that are on that path. The challenge comes when we meet people who simply are not that jazzed up about running down the details as we would be or as we expect them to be. When we run across folks that are comfortable with, “it’s good enough,” it simply does not compute for us.

Having a non-judgmental mind-set is something I have to work on continuously. I am not talking about homophobia, racism, sexism or any of that, I am talking about the judgement that rears its ugly head and asks, “What do you mean that’s good enough?”

I’d likely need a ton of counseling to ever truly understand a circumstance in which less than 100%, running it to ground, beating it to death until I am tired kind of detail digging would not be the order of the day.

Looking at this from the other direction though, I must assume that people think the same, or at least equally judgmental, thoughts about people like me. It only seems fair to think that one would say, “Jesus Greg, I don’t think we need to get down to that degree of detail, it’s only a concept” or something similar.

As I type this, I think about this question: Is this a generational thing?

Obviously, it is not.

I know 80-year old folks, 52-year-old men, that would be me, as well as a cadre of younger people who strive for the seemingly same level of excellence that I do.

But excellence is hard to measure, as everyone has their own notion of what it truly is. What may be excellent to me may be graded as “good” by others. Defining it raises questions: How much is enough? Why is “this” good enough for this week’s work and last week a bit less was judged to be excellent?

Those internal shadows of doubt can keep us awake at night. Our lizard brains ALWAYS want to have its say in the equation as well. Is that what drives us to an unfathomable degree of detail? Is ensuring we leave no stone unturned, as a defense mechanism? Perhaps.

The bottom line is that we are all unique little creatures with our own set of values, a belief system that may or may not be in line with our peers and especially with what we think of as our best work.

When we interact with others it comes down to the basic principles that we all know in regards to common courtesy. Don’t be offensive, don’t judge, try to find peace with the other person’s tendencies and go to work on striking the essential balance. Make sure you build your teams accordingly. Don’t stack personality types. Figure out who will work best with whom via DISC, Myers & Briggs or a similar platform, based upon their natural tendencies and personality.

There are no simple answers in any arena involving people, there just aren’t. It is up to each of us though to work through our own set of values and guidelines to ensure that we are representing ourselves in a manner in which we choose and we are working with others in a way that benefits everyone.

Until next time – keep digging.

G

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