Remember when we were in school and the goal was to receive a 100 percent on our homework or test scores? If we worked hard and did our best we were recognized with good grades, teacher praise, scholarships and academic advancement.
However, 100% is always what is needed in the workplace to achieve goals and to be selected for advancement.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Miriam Grobman about her work with women who strive to advance, often in male-dominated fields.
Miriam is the Founder and CEO of Miriam Grobman Consulting, a management consulting firm whose mission is to advance women’s leadership in male-dominated industries. She’s also the creator of the Master Influencer Boot Camp for Women. Miriam previously worked in strategic roles within Fortune 500 companies on 3 continents. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin.
I asked her what advice she had to offer women who seek advancement within their field and she told me that often, like in school, women expect that if they do their best and work hard that their efforts will be recognized and they will advance. However, often doing 100% isn’t what is needed in the workplace to achieve a goal effectively and efficiently.
When she said that, it reminded me of the phrase “80% and go.” So frequently we agonize over a project, working to get it to perfection when really just 80% will get us the results we need.
80% and go: lose the desire to be perfect. If you can get to perfect the first time, you’re probably not dreaming big enough. Give it 80%, get it out there, and get ready for feedback.
Miriam went on to say that women need to know who the decision makers on when it comes to advancement. They need to work on building those relationships. Often in large companies, management isn’t familiar with the individual efforts of team members. Therefore, all of that “head-down, focus on perfection” work that we do goes for naught when it comes to having our name rise to the top when it is time for promotion.
She reminds us of the importance of being politically savvy in the workplace – if we are hard at work, with our head down, we will miss opportunities to connect with those that make decisions.
Don’t be the dumping ground for projects that otherwise wouldn’t be completed.