Once upon a time, in a far off galaxy…wait a minute. Wrong story. Once upon a time, in woods near your home, Goldilocks spent a good deal of time with her friends, the three bears. Everyone had chosen to take the high road years ago. The bears had chosen to forgive the whole entering and breaking thing, and Goldilocks figured out that Papa Bear’s bite wasn’t as bad as his roar.
On this particular winter morning, Goldilocks was excited to share her newly finished Power Point with the Bear family. She had finished it in record time, and was proud of what she had completed.
The bears gathered in their repaired hard and soft rocking chairs and watched the slides projected onto the living room wall of their humble cabin. In the second slide, Mama Bear caught the first typo. She said nothing and let it go; after all, humans make mistakes. In the fourth slide, there were more egregious errors. “Oh my,” thought Mama Bear. “Did she not have anyone proof this?”
Oblivious to the errors lurking on the wall behind her, Goldilocks continued. By the end of the presentation, Mama Bear had counted a total of nine typos, misspellings, and word usage errors. She had no idea what Goldilocks had said throughout the presentation. The errors had been too distracting. “Besides,” Mama Bear thought, “how much of an expert can she be if this is the kind of work she produces!”
Baby Bear, having matured into the family diplomat, congratulated Goldilocks for getting the presentation done and for inviting them to her first rehearsal. Then he invited her into the kitchen for a bowl of oatmeal and a private consult. “Look, Goldi,” he explained, “you can’t go out there and impress people with your content and message if it looks like you threw it all together at the last minute!”
“But I didn’t,” balked Goldilocks. “I worked hard on those slides last week. I chose a lovely template and chopped out many of my bullets to make sure it would be just right for my audience.”
“Spectacular, Goldi, but there are errors throughout. That just doesn’t fly in the big leagues.”
“Let me have a second chance,” Goldi pleaded.
Baby Bear and his parents agreed to a second review the following week. Goldilocks went upstairs to work on her laptop from whichever bed was available. She no longer cared about hard, soft, or lumpy. She was on a mission to have the perfect presentation.
The next Saturday, at 10 a.m., the bears gathered again in their rocking chairs. “Where’s Goldilocks?” father bellowed in his deep bear voice.
“Check your iPhone, Papa,” Baby Bear responded. There, in all their inboxes, was a note from Goldilocks.
“Please postpone our meeting to Monday at 8 a.m. I’m still working on making my presentation perfect and need more time.”
Good girl, thought Mama Bear. Someone must have told her the importance of getting things right.
“Harumph,” said Papa. “Who needs this much time to revise a presentation? It’s just a couple of slides and, quite frankly, I thought her presentation last week was great!”
Baby Bear, ever the diplomat, emailed a response from all three bears. “We look forward to seeing you on Monday at 8 a.m.,” he typed. “Good luck with the revisions.”
On Monday at 8 a.m., they gathered in their assorted rocking chairs again. “Where’s Goldilocks?” Papa growled.
“Do you ever check your email, Papa?”
“Have you seen my paws, Baby Bear? The iPhone wasn’t designed for us full grown Ursus Americanus. Besides, people spend too much time with their silly email. I’m a bear who likes to get things DONE!” he boomed.
There, in their inboxes, was another note from Goldilocks. “Almost done, but need to postpone. Working hard on making sure this presentation is just perfect for my favorite bear family.”
Baby Bear called Goldilocks in for another private oatmeal consult at the kitchen table.
“Look, Goldi, I appreciate how hard you are working on this, but at some point, you have to declare something done and move on!”
“But last week you told me to take more time with my work and make sure I got it right.”
“This is true. Your work does need to look professional and be error free, but it also needs to be complete while these three bears are still alive to enjoy it!”
“So which is it, Baby Bear? What exactly do you want from me? I can get it done with mistakes or I can work forever on being perfect. I can’t be everything for everyone, Bear!” she said, plucking her golden curls out of her oatmeal bowl and flipping her mane over her shoulder.
“Take it easy, baby. I’m on your side. All you need to do is find a way to be ‘just right.’ Maybe you hire an editor to proof your Power Points before you take them on the road. Maybe you ask Mama Bear to read through them before you gather us all around in our rocking chairs, and then give yourself a week to make changes. Work smart, Goldi, and you’ll be just fine. What you need, girl, is a team!”
That same day, the three bears ate yet another meal of oatmeal while they made a plan to support Goldilocks. From now on, when Goldilocks was preparing to do a presentation, Mama Bear would proof her slides two weeks before the presentation date. Papa Bear, working on his own goals, agreed to master the voice recognition software on his iPhone and would growl out encouraging email reminders to ensure Goldilocks stayed on track with her productivity goals and deadlines.
As for Baby Bear, he continued to work with Goldilocks on finding balance in all areas of her life. Goldilocks continued to uphold a high level of professionalism in the work she did, and released some of her perfectionism in order to get things done. This, she decided, was just right.