The EconomistThe Economist

Why it’s OK not to be perfect at work

28 Jul 2022 · 3 min read

In life, perfectionism is often pitted as the standard we should aim for. However, this article argues that nowadays it is valued less in the workplace.

Curated by informed

It is the world’s most tired interview question: what is your greatest weakness? And Rishi Sunak, one of the two remaining candidates in the race to become Britain’s prime minister, gave the world’s most tired answer—perfectionism—when he was asked it at an online hustings earlier this month.

No interviewee would answer this question with an unambiguous negative (“stupidity”, say, or “body odour”). Like all those who have reached for it before, Mr Sunak will have intended his reply to signal that his flaws are virtues, especially compared with the shambolic style of Boris Johnson’s outgoing government.

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