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Letting Perfect be the Enemy of Good

6 Feb

I chose this topic for today’s post because it’s the first day of the Nevada Legislature. And I am about to be immersed in a pretty adversarial place for the next 120 days.

Many years ago,  I heard the phrase “don’t let perfect stand in the way of good” and I will admit … I wasn’t quite sure what advice a legislator was trying to give a group of us that legislative session.

However, over the years, I have learned.

The legislative process can be a pretty contentious one. Often positions on bills are polar opposite and the “warring” parties try to convince legislators that their side is right.

However, legislators don’t like being put in that position – it requires them to choose one side over the other. You can’t blame them, right?

Legislators much prefer it if the parties sit down and work out some kind compromise so that they are no longer caught in the middle.

However, a compromise requires the sides to give up the notion that their position is the perfect solution. Because you can’t have two perfect and different solutions and meet in the middle.

In order to work out some common ground, each side has to give up something. And that means, that the outcome is no longer perfect from either perspective … but it’s still good and it means progress in the right direction — or else, why agree to the compromise?

This is a hard lesson to learn. Especially in a place where there’s a big emphasis on winning.

But that’s exactly the lesson. It’s better to walk away with something good … than nothing at all.

Jeanette

 

 

 

 

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