There’s a new book out called Good Enough Is the New Perfect. It’s a catchy title, but a terrible idea.
Yes, of course, we can overdo our quest for ever-better performance on-the-job. And certainly, many of us do forget to stop and enjoy what we have already achieved with our work. But those two misinterpretations of a commitment to self-improvement don’t negate the importance of searching for our best self. In fact, Realizing Our Own Greatness Is the Best Perfect in the modern American workplace.
Why is that?
Because there’s a new kind of energy driving global economic competition. The old source – labor – has been replaced by something far more powerful – genius. Our competitors in China, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Germany and elsewhere are no longer trying to beat us with cheaper workers. They’re taking it to us with smarter ones.
Now, before you rise up in righteous indignation, let’s get a couple of things straight. First, I’m not saying American workers have been practicing “labor for dummies.” I am saying, however, that our competitors have upped their game. They are performing at a higher level of quality and productivity … and so must we.
And second, I’m not saying you have to be “book smart” to be competitive in today’s workplace. I am saying, however, that you have to work with your talent. To compete and win in today’s global marketplace, you must be more creative, imaginative, innovative and original than the other guys in your profession, craft or trade.
How do you accomplish that? First you have to know what your talent is. Those who’ve read my book The Career Activist Republic know that talent is an attribute of our species. It is a “capacity for excellence” which exists in every single one of us.
Unlike your personality, however, talent doesn’t appear on its own. You have to bring it into existence. And to do that, you must probe your heart and mind to pinpoint the intersection of what you love to do and what you do best. That’s your unique combination of passion and practicality.
Then, you have to make your talent work-ready. You must acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to apply it effectively on-the-job. And, here’s what’s new about our post-recession, 21st century workplace: that task is never done.
The competition is too good for us to coast. Just as a professional ball player or musician can never stop practicing – never stop honing their talent – we must continuously improve our ability to work with our talent. That’s why realizing our own greatness is the best perfect. It makes us the champions we were meant to be.
Note: To read more about Career Fitness and Career Activism, get my books, Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System and The Career Activist Republic. Both are available at Amazon.com, in many bookstores and on Weddles.com.