The Beauty of Imperfection

Published: October 8, 2014

Whether you're a part of an organization, a team, a relationship, or engaged in a staring contest with a mirror, poor choices and mistakes create the secret path to evolution. Despite the elusive goal of perfection, true beauty lives in the flaws of being human and, thus, a work in progress. The goal is not to become the ideal. It is to follow our struggles as guideposts for growth. What is your personal strategic plan?

Imagine a cup filled with a blend of goodness and opportunity. Occasionally, the cup is filled to the brim and we enjoy a fleeting awareness of happiness, safety, contentment, and hope for the future. We share our gifts, enjoy the generosity of others, and the mirror offers a friendly reflection of a life well lived. Sometimes, however, our circumstances create a less favorable reflection. Teammates are misaligned with the vision. Partners disappoint. The once full cup develops a slow leak and we question our fit with a job, on a team, in a relationship, or the measurement of our own performance.

Nobody’s cup is continuously full even if it appears they have everything together. The best organizations, teams, relationships, and individuals not only struggle, but cherish their pain as a recipe for growth and continuous improvement. Our flaws and scars become the evidence of our hard work. The work is never done – the beauty of imperfection.

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst College where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.