I never latch onto hit television shows while they are happening. I became a fan of Seinfeld in syndication. Watched the Sex and the City and the Sopranos via Netflix.
My latest discovery is Scrubs and my favorite character is Dr. Cox (played beautifully by John C. McGinley.) There are times whenI would kill to have his chutzpah. And, there are moments that his raw emotion and sense of right are so compelling that you forget for a few minutes what a jerk he is. I guess that’s the point.
I recently watched an episode about ‘the perfect game.’ Dr. Cox was working with the other doctors to keep everyone in the hospital alive for 24-hours. Doing so constituted ‘the perfect game.’ (SPOILER ALERT: In the final minutes, a patient dies.) Another doctor tells Dr. Cox that only they know so they can wait to report the time of death.
Dr. Cox’s response?
It’s not about winning under false pretenses. It’s about the endless pursuit of perfection.
Translate this into our work environment. In our workplaces, perfection is often viewed as a bad thing. How often have we heard that we should not be striving for perfection because it is impossible to obtain? Or when has a job applicant told you their weakness is ‘they are a perfectionist’?
While we’re not all in medicine, shouldn’t we all be striving for perfection? Let’s face it – if we strive for perfection and fall short of the mark, isn’t that better than shooting for less and hitting it?
Maybe we all need to be a little bit more like Dr. Cox – not the critical, harsh guy – but the guy that encourages us to pursue perfection. Because aiming for perfection pushes us to improve. To be the absolute best we can be.1