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I originally wrote this for Fast Company



How do you define a strong leader?

All leadership–good and bad–starts from within. Overwhelming stress, unresolved issues, and low self-confidence (often displayed as arrogance) increase the likelihood of less-than-optimal leadership. Conversely, humility, courage, and trust (in yourself and others) are ingredients of stellar leadership.

In my coaching practice, I am seeing a growing impediment to effective leadership: Perfectionism.

Perfectionism in the broader sense refers to all-or-nothing thinking. “It needs to be done right (perfect), or else it’s a failure.” “If I mess this up, people will see that I’m in way over my head.” “Since I didn’t make it to the gym today, I might as well forget my diet too and order a pizza.”

Generally, the goal of a perfectionist is good. It’s the pursuit of excellence, the desire to do the best job, the drive to be successful. However, the true motivator for perfectionism is fear. “I need to make enough money in order for my family to be comfortable” is driven by the fear your family will live in poverty because you failed.

Here are the ways perfectionism impacts the top seven elements of effective leadership and what you can do to overcome it…

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Success magazine,,Perfectonism,self-help,advice,tips,work,career,hr


In conjunction with the launch of my new book this month, Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love, I’ve written articles on perfectionism for multiple magazines. Here’s my latest for SUCCESS.  Read. Share. Tweet! -E

Is Perfectionism Bringing Down Your Business?
5 tips on how to deal with a perfectionist co-worker

-by Elizabeth Lombardo

Have you ever struggled to work with people who weren’t team players? Maybe they refused to listen to others, dismissed feedback, behaved arrogantly or even refused to do their share of a project?

Take these frustrating examples:
• My boss drives me crazy. He micromanages everything and never lets me work on my own. He treats me like a child.
• My colleague takes forever to get me her part of a project. And then she’s always making revisions, messing up what I already spent time doing.
• I can’t stand working with him. He thinks his ideas are the only ones that have merit.

These crazy-making people are perfectionists. You may think that a perfectionist is someone who likes things to be neat and orderly, but there’s much more to it than that.

Read this entire article at

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I adore the good folks at Fox 32 and Good Day Chicago!

I’ve been doing a recurring segment on there about many popular topics and issues. This one was very special as we talked about my new book Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love.

Better Than Perfect is available at major online book retailers (i.e. Amazon, Barnes & Noble) and at local bookstores nationwide. BTP recently made Amazon’s Bestseller list! Get a copy today for yourself or someone you love.

You should also take my Are You a Perfectionist? Quiz. I’ll send you personalized results and a link to download my ebook 10 Ways Perfectionism May be Poisoning Your Life.

Thanks so much for taking this journey with me!


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The world watched Ferguson MO erupt in the aftermath of the police shooting death of Michael Brown.

While the protests and headlines have waned; the grief that Michael Brown’s loved ones feel persists.

Steve Harvey asked me to join him in an on air session with Michael’s mother Leslie McPhadden. We’ve included the entire clip, so that you can see and feel Leslie’s grief and the genuine empathy and passion from Steve and me.

Some have asked…Yes, I spent much, much more time one-on-one with Leslie off camera

Put aside your political and cultural biases. Observe and relate to a mother’s agony. Watch it. Share it. Pray for peace and healing — for Michael Brown’s loved ones, Ferguson and our divided nation.

Thanks friend.


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By Amelia Harnish for

Everyone has a friend or loved one obsessed with perfection. The one who works constantly because they’re utterly terrified of letting their boss down, or the mom who won’t let anyone help around the house because no one else does it “right.” Or perhaps you’re the perfectionist in your life? It’s okay. Just admit it. Because the sooner you do, the sooner you can let go of it—and all of its hefty side effects.

Case in point: Earlier this week, a new analysis in the Review of General Psychology found that perfectionism can literally ruin your life. Perfectionists are more likely to struggle with depression or anxiety, and sadly, they’re more likely to commit suicide, the paper argues.

While we tend to hold up perfectionism as a sign of being a high-achiever, “the average person has very little understanding or awareness of how destructive perfectionism can be,” the paper’s lead author Gordon Flett, PhD, told New York magazine’s Science of Us blog. For many perfectionists, underneath the outward appearance of having it together, they feel like total imposters, which can be really draining, he added.

“Perfectionists have an all-or-nothing mindset that’s propelled by a crippling fear of failure. They also have what’s called conditional self-worth. They think ‘I am only a good person if I can achieve these things,’” explains Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love. Since true perfection is impossible, “you can see how someone with that mindset could get to a dark place.”

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Posted on, entrepreneur mag, startup, business, success

I originally wrote this for

There is an epidemic sweeping our nation. Its victims suffer from failed businesses, marriages and even diets. It doesn’t discriminate and can attack anyone striving for success. What is this plague crippling our country? It’s called perfectionism. And the paralysis of perfection can be a dream killer for many entrepreneurs.

Perfectionism is the all-or-nothing attitude that sounds like these: “I haven’t figured out my logo yet. I can’t make business cards without a logo. I can’t go to a networking event without business cards. I guess I’ll just stay home.”

This sort of perfectionism stimulates stress, crushes creativity, prevents productivity and ultimately prunes profitability.

Most perfectionists don’t even realize they are one. They cling to the belief that their obsessive pursuit of perfection is really just the definition of doing a good job. And yet, as you will see, perfectionism may be what is ultimately restricting them — and you — from desired success.

Here are five tips to overcome perfectionism to succeed in business.

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I’ve sat across from TODAY show hosts many times in the past few years. This time was super special!

To celebrate the launch of Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love The TODAY Show folks posted a lite version of my ‘Are You a Perfectionist?’ Quiz on their site. KL, Hoda and I discussed the score ranges and what they mean for people.

Watch the segment and get Better Than Perfect, which is available online an on bookshelves everywhere.

You can take the full version of my Perfectionist Assessment here. I’ll send you a personal score and analysis. As a bonus, I’ll include a link for you to download my e-book 10 Ways Perfectionism Poisons Your Life (And You May Not Know It!)

Thanks for your awesome support!