Do you search for Excellence or Perfection in your professional and personal life?
Denise Barbezani and Nelson Esquivel
“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” - Harriet Breaker
When searching for information to write an article on Professional and Personal High Performance , I came across the following concept from Jullien Gordon:
High performers give 100% at the right time.
Workaholics give 110% all of the time.
That comparison was going round and round in my head. I wanted to better understand the quantitative and practical implications of it as well as expose this idea through a metaphor. So, I asked a mathematician to help me. You can find the result of this conversation below. Let's look at this paradigm break of giving more than 100% in an area recognized by excellence and fascinating for many: Formula 1.
F1 teams prepare in advance to create special conditions that allow them to overcome limits and get the best results. During qualifying practice hundredths of precious seconds define the pole position. Then, it's time to focus on keeping a good pace throughout the race. The fastest and most consistent team reaches the podium.
This effort that makes it possible to make faster laps in the classification and to break records, sometimes, surpasses 100% of the capacity of the pilot, car and team as a whole. But this is not sustainable throughout the race. In addition, the probability of error increases because you cannot live on the edge all the time.
Nelson Esquivel had the opportunity to attend an event in which Emerson Fittipaldi was a keynote speaker and was asked the following question: "Why were the cars of the 70's faster than the current ones at full speed but not in terms of lap time?” Broadly, the answer explained that the difference is in acceleration and deceleration. In pursuit of excellence, Formula 1 reinvents itself every season. Within the hundreds of points that contribute to the improvement, two fundamental ones stand out: the aerodynamics and the tires. Today's cars speed up much faster but also slow down a lot faster. Hence, cars stays in high gear for longer and also make curves much faster. Thus, even with a lower final speed than in the past, the riders can lower the time of each lap. This defines modern F1: cars that make faster and safer turns.
When we work above our capacity - "110%" - we change the paradigm. Of course we should and can redefine our paradigms, because we always take lessons from the process, but that doesn’t mean that it can be maintained. It should be an asynchronous exercise. You can and should force the paradigm, but not all the time. The search for the record should be an occasional exercise. (Part 1.2)
Denise Barbezani is a perfectionist in recovery and repeats every day "Just for today I will not be a perfectionist. I will stop pursuing perfection, which only brings me frustration, and will seek excellence; I will be better every day - what makes me happy and satisfied." Denise is Associate Certified Coach - ACC/ICF at the International Coach Federation. And certified in executive and personal coaching at ICI - Integrated Coaching Institute. She holds an MBA in marketing by one of the most important marketing institutions in Brazil, ESPM. She has 10 years of experience in multinational technology companies. Fluent in English, she holds a Proficiency Certificate from Cambridge University - CPE and a Bachelor of Arts in Portuguese and English as well as a translation degree from Universidade Anhembi Morumbi. She strengthened her entrepreneurship skills at Empretec Training, a UN methodology. Denise has already provided more than 500 hours of coaching and offers her services to more than 50 clients in Brazil and in the world through online sessions. As a coach, she helps people define and achieve their professional, life, and business goals. Today she lives near London, UK, with her family.
Nelson Esquivel has more than 24 years of experience in IT, most of which is dedicated to consulting projects. He worked as an "Evangelist" for new technologies, such as Business Service Management (BSM) for internal and external customers. He has extensive experience in financial justification of IT projects: ROI and TCO analysis, IRR calculation, creation and justification of Business Case. Specialist in ITSM and its implementation, participated in more than 20 projects, including some abroad in places such as Germany, USA, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and UK among others. Nelson lives in England with his family and has been a Formula 1 fan for more than 35 years.