Everybody is a perfectionist to some degree. It’s when it becomes an obsession that it’s a problem,” says Robert Steven Kaplan, a Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School.

The journey towards becoming perfect begins from the very childhood days when expectations for the best results are set by parents and teachers. As working professionals, you are often reminded of setting new benchmarks and so the push to be the Best continues.

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So, who exactly is a perfectionist and is it a positive trait?

Well, a perfectionist person can be seen as someone who sets high goals and accepts nothing shy of flawlessness. 

Often viewed as a positive trait, perfectionism at times can have negative tints. While aspiring to achieve excellence, a perfectionist leader or manager can become overpowering and create a ripple of negativity, stifling creativity and growth.

Ask industry veterans or experts in Company Leadership Development Programs and you’ll learn that perfectionism does not necessarily equate to leadership traits. Leadership that calls for attention to detail and a commitment to quality rarely thrives on fixations. While leadership doesn’t require being perfect, it does require doing what is needed & necessary.

Signs of a Perfectionist Leader

If you’re wondering whether your fall under the perfectionist club or not, then here are some signs that will help you introspect yourself:

  • Delegation of work is an important task that can be the difference between successful or failed project executions. Even the best Employee Leadership Training stresses this aspect for development of team capacity. However, perfectionist leaders fail to understand this and prefer to do it all by himself/herself. They don’t trust others’ quality of work and end up with the lion’s share of work. 
  • Another sign found common in perfectionists is setting goals that may not be reasonable. They are obsessed with their goals and are pushed by a fear of anything less than a perfectly met goal. This stops them from enjoying the process of growing and striving which is crucial to self-satisfaction.
  • They are self-critical and less open to accepting feedback and criticism from others. They keep on finding faults in their way of working and are on a continuous self-improvement mission. They’re not satisfied easily with their output, and always believe that they could have done better. 
  • As there is a lot at stake, the very thought of failure becomes a scary prospect for a perfectionist leader. Starting anything new or different becomes a difficult task as anything less than perfect is seen as an anomaly.

A more than necessary priority given to control is the crux of unhealthy perfectionism.

Perfectionists often become so picky and preoccupied with making sure everything is flawless that they unconsciously begin to control situations and people. This takes a toll on interpersonal relationships.

Concluding Thoughts

Perfectionism has always been seen in a positive light and that’s fair enough. Healthy perfectionism can drive people to perform their best but perfectionism that transcends rational thinking leads to stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, and other issues.

If you find some of these perfectionist traits in yourself, it’s time to self-introspect. Acknowledging that these tendencies are affecting you negatively is the first step towards bringing a positive change. Adopt a healthier approach that will help you achieve your goals with less stress and negativity. 

Enrolling in strategic and effective Corporate Leadership Development Programs is the way to go. Consider Pragati Leadership programs for this and give your personality the boost it deserves.

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