Taking action trumps waiting for perfection

February 24, 2015 By and    

Just before World War II, British engineer Robert Watson Watt was determined to finish development of a fledgling radar system to detect enemy bombers.

Ken Albrecht

Ken Albrecht

Germany was rearming and Churchill knew war was certain. Once Germany secured bases in France, it would take only 20 minutes for its bombers to reach England. Ironically, British fighter aircraft, the Spitfire and Hurricane, took several minutes to climb to the altitude needed to meet the threat, so an early-warning system was needed quickly.

British engineers argued over several options, but Watt fought for the simplest method of stringing wire between poles to send and receive electromagnetic waves. He said, “Go with the third best because second best will be too late and the very best may never happen.”

In business, it’s better to get something done even if it is second or third best. If we wait for the perfect solution, it may end up being too late to do anyone any good.

Action trumps perfection.

Ken Albrecht is president of Reliable Propane in Clarence Center, N.Y.

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