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Gregory Chasson
Flawed: Why Perfectionism is a Challenge for Management
Greg Chasson, author

Adult; Business & Personal Finance; (Market)

Many stakeholders in the workplace consider the pursuit of perfection an admirable quality, but perfectionism is profoundly paralyzing. In myriad ways, perfectionism sabotages workplace productivity, greatly undermines a positive work culture, and compounds employee dissatisfaction, burnout, and turnover. The current book illuminates the adverse impact of job‐related perfectionism, which many managers and business owners miss or minimize. But solutions are available. Written for decision makers, business leaders, and HR managers who struggle to deal with employee burnout, procrastination, anxiety, and turnover risk—perhaps even quiet quitting—the book is designed as an approachable guide for understanding, detecting, and alleviating the ways that perfectionism undermines the workplace.
A psychologist specializing in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related conditions, including perfectionism, Chasson makes the case that perfectionism, so often seen as a boon, actually “wrecks” and can “sabotage” teams and businesses. Having high standards is important and can be healthy, Chasson acknowledges, but an organization can also become seriously sidelined and disrupted by unrelenting pursuit of perfection. Such an over-emphasis can also have negative repercussions on employee health and overall wellbeing, negatively impacting morale and encouraging costly turnover. Chasson offers “antiperfectionism” strategies, for business leaders and individuals, plus some good news: most of us fall somewhere in the middle, non-lethal perfectionist range and can generally succeed by focusing on how to achieve “meaningful goals with ethics and urgency.”

As Chasson argues, there’s a lot not to like about being perfect or regularly trying to be so. The perfectionist’s thinking is often highly inflexible and given to self-doubt about taking action. Perfectionists have a “contradictory relationship” with control, Chasson writes, demonstrating that this trait should not automatically be considered the asset it’s often perceived as. He’s especially persuasive on the fact that there can be a bright side to mistakes—they can enable one to view a situation differently, encourage teamwork and original thinking, empowering an organization to rebound with more efficient solutions. Chasson’s advice is persuasive: embrace principles and be flexible, honest, and gracefully imperfect.

Chasson earns points for tackling a serious, largely underreported condition in plain, direct language, at times with a biting wit and much practical, hard-won guidance and illuminating tools, including his own “Emphasis Framework” crafted for “understanding behavior in a context of effort-value pressures.” Chasson’s prose is as clear as his thinking and approaches are rigorous. His examination of the inner conflict that arises in the ongoing struggle over whether he should or should not fold the household towels employs a simple, everyday example to drive home key points of being true to one’s values vs. the overall good of an organization—in this case his marriage. Many readers will immediately turn to revelatory the chapter about dealing with a perfectionist boss.

Takeaway: Eye-opening guide to the problems of workplace perfectionism and how to face them.

Comparable Titles: Thomas Curran’s The Perfection Trap, Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A