Got a boss who’s a perfectionist and eroding your sense of worth?


Can bosses get too particular about their team’s duties? And can that behaviour be a deterrent to that team’s capabilities—and their well-being? You know it can! A recent article posted by CNBC reported on a presentation made by one of the biggest bosses in the U.S.: the former president and CEO of IBM, Ginni Rometty.

Rometty spent almost 40 years at IBM, including the last eight in the top job. By her own admission, she was a perfectionist, and it took years for her to see the drawbacks to that behaviour. Speaking at the World Business Forum, she shared how she spent years sending work back to her staff filled with corrections and suggestions for what she thought would be better. As she tells it, she thought this kind of clarity, finding and correcting mistakes, would make her people better.

But a colleague finally pointed out that such actions were demoralizing. Rometty was told that her team didn’t want to try hard if the boss was only going to change and “fix” everything they submitted. “That’s pretty disabling for people … I was disempowering them. Of course, it was never my intent, but I learned to stop it,” she told the audience, according to CNBC.

“Perfectionism is the enemy of progress,” she said.