In many industries, the term “good enough” has become an underlying yet driving force that continues to shape our perspective on business and the products or services we deliver. Over the past decade, it has seeped into many areas of our society and may be a trend some people prefer. But in the long run, it can prove devastating to business and, in my opinion, the fabric of society. The question for today is, how much has “good enough” penetrated your mindset and have you taken the time to measure its influence?
Every day we make determinations that lean between giving it our best or just allowing the easy answer to prevail. How does that work into the business equation? Do you enjoy a product that is sub-par? Maybe in some cases, a little widget or trinket you buy online or at a flea market does not have to be prefect. But let’s extend that to a bigger picture. Maybe an aircraft mechanic has a good enough day when he checks or corrects a problem with the hydraulics on your next flight. Or what about the school bus driver taking your child to start their day of education?
The dichotomy here is that we often trust others to deliver in excellence in most circumstances, some more critical than others, but what is our habit? Do we deliver in excellence, or have we allowed good enough to become a way of life that will trickle down to the next generation? If so, where will it bring us?
Of course, the drive for excellence has had its drawbacks, but good habits lead us to better things. Both take almost as much effort, but it’s our attitude that makes the difference. People may say they are easily satisfied with less effort and more down time, but what results can we expect from that? In my experience, it is usually not what was hoped. There is a pendulum we swing upon that goes back and forth between excellence and complacency, and in that swing away from our finest, we can find ourselves experiencing the same emotions and disappointments with fewer bright options for our future and less long-term rewards for us and the people we love.
Does good enough work for you or will excellence be the path we take in our work and other areas of our lives? It’s a matter of choice, and that choice is yours. My hope is that we will each look down the road and see where this decision may lead us. Many before us have faced this question, and it will always be a part of the human experience, but it’s only you that can choose for you and decide how your life trends will affect others.
“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” – Michael J. Fox