Imperfection is OK

  In the near-perfect Stanford, the most precious lesson I learned is: imperfection is OK!
  The 358 classmates of our class came from different industries all over the world. The only thing they have in common is that they were used to being top performers before joining Stanford. This reputation, and the self-expectation that comes with it, makes them hopeless perfectionists.
  And perfectionism is their source of pain at Stanford.
  In top organizations, it’s really hard to stay perfect.
  Take the “Entrepreneurship” course taught by the author of “From A to A+” Collins as an example. He stipulates that the cases, handouts, and textbook chapters to be read before class are more than 100 pages each. The requirements for other courses are equally stringent. If you are still interviewing companies to find a job during the semester, it is really difficult to thoroughly prepare every class. At Stanford, not reading the case before class is the biggest sin. The characteristic of the offender is to sit in the corner of the classroom with his head down, lower the nameplate on the table, and hope that the teacher will not point them to speak. This is how easy it is for the elites who have raised their heads all their lives?
  After all, what is “perfect”? I saw some “perfect” classmates, in order to maintain the record of number one in their lives, carefully preparing every handout requested by the teacher, so I missed the time to drink beer and make friends with classmates on Wednesday afternoon. They did get the first place in the end. They came to the stage to receive the award when they graduated, but they looked so pale on stage because they had not enjoyed the California sunshine in the past two years.
  As for us who “destroy ourselves”, the way to survive is to set priorities.
  If I already know that I can’t finish reading the five handouts, then I choose to read the most important cases and just browse through the other four. The first time I did this, of course, there was a strong sense of loss, and I felt that I was depraved. Slowly, I tried to learn the most from such an imperfect model.
  The attitude of a perfectionist to life is all or nothing. He can’t bear any flaws in what he has. However, when I graduated, entered the industry, and started to lead people and take responsibility, I discovered that a real enterprise does not allow leaders to have all-or-nothing cleanliness. Really good leaders, in front of the bottom line of shareholder rights and conscience, day after day, night after night, put down their body, and patiently coordinate and compromise. His achievements may not be as easily noticed by the media as perfectionists, but his achievements are appreciated by employees and shareholders bit by bit.
  After all these years of constant pursuit of perfection, I finally found that it is easy to be a perfectionist, but it is beautiful to struggle in an imperfect state. Because every day is a new game, he must look forward and backward, and follow his steps.
  The biggest problem with smart people is that they dislike people who are stupid. Another shortcoming of the perfectionist is that he requires everyone around him to be perfect.
  When I was a boss, I only asked three things: Did the employees do it? Is their method right? Did they try their best? As long as the three answers are yes, I will shut up and pat the staff on the shoulder. If you do this and still fail, don’t demand the employees, otherwise you will be a perfectionist.
  Those companies with talented bosses have the lowest employee morale! Because no matter how hard the employees work, the boss’ criticism will be rewarded. In the end, the boss must do everything by himself, and he was exhausted and hurt the entire company.
  Between too much and too little, we are often too much.
  Our problem is that we are too hard, too serious, and too demanding for perfection, whether we are dealing with others or ourselves!
  After graduating from Stanford for ten years, I still can’t get rid of this curse, but I always remind myself: Relax, you have graduated, no one cares about your ranking anymore. You can fail, you can mess up, and you can give yourself and others a little space. You can, occasionally be the last place!