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How big is your “right zone”

How big is your “right” zone?

Years ago I used to eat errors in the name of keeping the system running. Sometimes that meant literally eating errors. I would drink wrong coffee drinks, or settle for drive thru orders that had missing food or the wrong food.

At some point I got tired of subsidizing these kind of errors. At the moment of that realization, my right zone got smaller.

So, how big is your right zone? How much wrong are you willing to accept?

Imagine standing with your arms outstretched wide to your sides. Is this how much wrong you are willing to accept? Now imagine you start bringing your hands together in front of you. How close do they need to get to illustrate your right zone?

I ask because it’s delicate. Perfectionism in everything will drive your team crazy. Complete acceptance of anything will do the same. The right answer is somewhere in between. 

Here’s why this matters. 

Every situation has a sweet spot. For less important items, that zone could be wider. For more important items, that zone should be narrower. 

Noticing when our right zone gets too narrow on lesser things means we can intentionally loosen the reigns to keep things moving. Conversely, when it really matters we need that right zone dialed in.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on December 17, 2019

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