Perfection is the enemy of any action. However, perfection usually is only the label used to explain the reasons why one lets go of the desired action.
It describes all the expectations people see for themselves to feel allowed, enabled, willing, or capable to act. It describes the conditions under which someone would feel comfortable acting.
For some, it is the guarantee that their action will be welcome, for others it is the guarantee that they’ll succeed, that they won’t lose control of the situation, that they will be recognized for their action, that the risks involved are measured, or all of this.
To invite a look beyond doing nothing, Ed Batista compared it with doing something using the infinite as a metric:
“An infinite distance lies between nothing–the unsaid comment, the unwritten letter, the undone act–and something, no matter how much room for improvement remains. In comparison, the distance between that something and perfection is barely noticeable at all.”
This is as true in a leadership position as in a friendship.
Combine this with a posture of doing no harm, which is one of being clear on an intention to welcome, recognize, and care as well as having clear guidelines.
Whatever our actions are, as the outcome is never guaranteed, it is in using small steps that a reasonable measure of the outcome may become available.