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Perfection vs. Connection

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We work so hard to get it right.  We agonize over our PowerPoint slides.  We ensure that our data is rock-solid.  We polish our pitch.  Some of us are even lucky enough to have an entire communications team tirelessly crafting our messaging to hit every point and refute every argument, collectively aiming for perfection.  Yet…

I’ve seen a lot of great PowerPoint slides in my time that I couldn’t recall an hour later.

I’ve heard a lot of data that often sounds like it’s being delivered by Charlie Brown’s teacher.

I’ve seen pitches so polished that they look like they came straight from the can – all shiny and new.

Points can be hit and arguments can be refuted, but the truth is, it doesn’t matter how close to perfect we may come if we don’t connect with the human beings in the room.

It’s all about connection.

For real.

In my mind’s eye I’m recalling presentations and courageous conversations that have stayed with me for years – that have reached my soul and held on tight.  That have changed me – inspired me, bridged my confidence, helped me see possibilities, lit a fire under my behind and left me wanting to take action.  They weren’t perfect, they were so much more than perfect.  They were human.

To lead, to influence, and to present powerfully we’ve got to find a way to move past our need to be perfect and aim for something far more elusive yet critical. We must remove our mask risk being seen.  We must risk being so present that it scares the pants off of us – to be that vulnerable.  That real.  We must risk connection.

Perfection is way over-rated.

For if we don’t truly connect, then we’re pretty much talking to ourselves.  And nothing great gets done in a vacuum.

And we’re up to great things, right?

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