I only follow a couple blogs but my favorite is Leadership Freak by Dan Rockwell. The site focuses on leadership and culture in organizations. Recently, Dan had two blogs that dealt with working with imperfect organizations and imperfect people.

In the organization one, he emphasized the distinction and importance of the concept of acceptance. His point was that you first need to accept the limitations or constraints of your firm in order to have any influence or chance to improve it. And that by accepting the way things were, was not approval; just a place to start working from.

One of my jobs as CFO was with a firm going through a ton of change. The Chairman/CEO was new as were most of the top C level jobs–HR, Legal and me as CFO. It only took me a short time to realize that the place was a mess. What to do? My old mentor, Frank, said I could not quit as this was a public company with shareholders and debtors counting on the new CFO! So I tried to do what I always did: rebuild my own financial team, forge strong relationships with the other senior people and try to relink the parts of the organization that had come undone. Often I would seek out and work with the second in command of an area when I sensed they were the key to some positive change. All this takes a lot more time and energy but you can improve anything if you really try.

On the idea of imperfect people, Dan’s blog emphasized that you need to take the weak or quirky sides of people as well as their strengths. In staff roles, I saw this a lot. You could have a tax person who knew all the critical parts of the the IRS Code which impacted your firm but could not, to save their own life, try to explain any of this to others who needed to know. A good leader tries to bridge these gaps initially, with the hope that eventually the people will find a way to work together. And sometimes it really works.

The main point here is not a new revelation but maybe a new way to look at things.  Imperfections are a big part of organizational life. In fact, imperfections are a big part of most personal lives and relationships as well. But, the important takeaway is that you can still make improvements if you learn to accept and move forward versus becoming so frustrated that you do nothing. After all, none of us are perfect!