Good Enough Vs. Not Enough
[Caption: A piece of skyline in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, featuring the famous Bitexco Tower].
“Warren, I’m frustrated with my team members. They are not performing up to my expectations. They are too slow to learn, and make so many mistakes. They are just not good enough. What should I do?” Asked Joanne (not her real name).
“Hmm... I can feel your frustration. Let’s take a step back. Can you share with me what qualities you saw in them when you brought them on-board to your team in the first place?” I asked.
Buildings are first built with strong foundations before we can construct and add new layers. We can’t fill a hole without an adequate base. Without a strong enough base, there will never be enough material to fill the hole.
In the same way, as managers and employers, we will never be able to build our teams without a strong foundation. If the dynamic between you and your employees or team member
s is not strong, not stable, not appreciated and not good enough, we cannot add on to the next level of growth.
A Challenge is a Possibility
If our team members are not living up to our expectations, we ought to do some digging. What can we do?
Meet them where they are. Meet yourself where you are.
Many leaders who are frustrated by the performance of their team members are inevitably also frustrated with themselves. We set our expectations too high, to the point where we think they should have done something or become something since yesterday without considering where they are right now.
By dialing down our expectations to where they are right now, the idea of "good enough" recalibrates us to the lesser, but very real virtues they already possess; qualities which our unrealistic hopes has made us overlook.
Take a deep breath, slow down, and think about what you are grateful about your team right now. Zoom out to see the bigger picture. Appreciate more and celebrate more with their current contributions; with who we are as a team and what we have right at this moment. Enjoy the pure presence. And then, and only then, can we move forward into our future to create our next chapter. Only with “good enough,” can we move on to the question “What’s next?” more powerfully.
Good enough may not be perfect, but it’s the prerequisite to improvement. When we start to see value in our team members and in ourselves, we can then start to add value and grow together.