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Blog : Done is better than perfect


Done is better than perfect

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By Jane Sunley CEO

The list of skills and attributes required of a leader is long and much debated. After consulting with our leadership team we’ve defined our core leadership priorities here at Purple Cubed as:


  • Clarity
  • Charisma
  • Outcome focus
  • Role model
  • Emotional Intelligence 

All of these are aimed at ‘making it happen’; surely the overriding objective of any leader in a growth business.  We acknowledged a very long time ago that ‘perfection is far from perfect’ and set out to build a culture where mistakes are not only tolerated but expected and, as long as people learn from them, even celebrated. A culture where people learn by experimenting and taking the odd risk; rather than stifled by rigidity and control. Where reaching the goal is more important than missing a deadline through over-thinking.  As CEO, I would rather have ten things done adequately than three done to perfection.

Facebook CEO, Sheryl Sandberg, famously said “Done is better than perfect” and I agree. In a world where information flow is ever faster; where customers want better, quicker; where innovation abounds, companies need to be agile. My goal is to employ enabled and self-sufficient people with the tools, skills, support and enthusiasm to grow the business. This is how I believe it can be achieved: 

  1. Provide clarity around the goals; make sure people are very clear about how they will contribute
  2. Put guidelines and support in place as opposed to rigid procedures
  3. Make it clear that mistakes are a bi-product of action and innovation; eradicate blame
  4. Engender a culture of well thought out action; recognising outputs rather than inputs
  5. Help people to see the big picture so they don’t get too caught up in the detail; very important for keeping focused on the goals
  6. Communicate regularly and well; seeking feedback along the way
  7. Make people accountable and responsible; challenge them to achieve
  8. Help people to hone their thinking skills and encourage thinking time
  9. Whilst the focus remains on moving forward, be sure people review their work asking “What did we learn from this?”
  10. Show leadership by demonstrating making it happen, moving fast and accurately to make a difference

Is ‘Done better than perfect’ in your world? 

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