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Drive for perfection, yet strive toward excellence?

When my coaching clients are experiencing near- panic attacks over upcoming urgent and important deadlines, we stop and dissect the anxiety-is the root of your distress due to your expectation of perfection every step of the way? Or, can your perspective shift to consider accomplishing those steps in as excellent a manner as possible? Read on…

A guy who viewed himself as one of the most laid-back “happy go-lucky” executives in the world asked himself this question upon recuperating in the hospital from an unexpected bypass heart operation. How could the ticker lose its tock now, when it he had survived the early pressures of the infancy days of FEDEX losing $1million a month and when Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken threatened to go on the Johnny Carson show and blow the new CEO out of the water because he planned to change the formula of the gravy! Now, THAT was pressure.

My mentor, Frank Maguire shared his reflections below:


Perfection is being right.
Excellence is willing to be wrong.

Perfection is fear.
Excellence is taking a risk.

Perfection is anger and frustration.
Excellence is powerful.

Perfection is control.
Excellence is spontaneous.

Perfection is judgment.
Excellence is accepting.

Perfection is taking.
Excellence is giving.

Perfection is doubt.
Excellence is confidence.

Perfection is pressure.
Excellence is natural.

Perfection is the destination.
Excellence is the journey.

The original Senior Vice President of Industrial Relations for Federal Express, Frank Maguire is credited by CEO, Fred Smith, as creating the corporate culture that resulted in FEDEX being named “The Top Corporation of the Decade” by Fortune Magazine.

Eyeball” by
Miranda Granche
is licensed under CC by 2.0

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"Pat brings her charm, wit and insight into her advisory relationships and shares the same with her audiences. She's got the systems to back up her concepts."

- Frank Maguire FEDEX Senior Founding Executive

John Maxwell


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