Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

Whatever happened to “good enough”?

I ran a one day course the other day for a new client. The course went well, yet I came away feeling slightly disappointed in myself. I knew it wasn’t quite up to my usual standard.

On my arrival home, I took a look at the feedback forms, every one of which gave very high marks, along with positive comments. It appears, after all, that what I did was good enough. So much so, that the client is primed to book further courses in the coming months.

We live increasingly in a world where “excellence” is the expectation, and that to expect or attain any less can be seen as failure. Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of education and the workplace.

For example, when I sat my A levels, I gained two passes. My grades were two E’s – the lowest pass grade at the time. I accept that I deserved those grades. Why? Because I was a teenage lad who simply wanted to be doing other things, rather than study.

Nevertheless, those grades were still passes and were good enough to get me into two, temporary gap year jobs and then into college. They were good enough to allow me easy entry into the permanent job market. There were no internships in those days, there were paid jobs readily available. I was able to find employment within days of skimming through the back of the evening papers.

I was also able to fund a social life, run a car, rent a flat and even buy my own place by the time I was 25. I didn’t need to attain straight A grades and subsequently get a high powered job in the City in order to do this. I had a relatively ordinary job – selling ad space, for a company based on the outskirts of London. Moving into a management role after a few years, I was able to progress to a house in a very nice, leafy area by the time I was 30. (Mind you, that did change somewhat as a result of a divorce, but that’s another story!)

And these days? If our darlings don’t attain straight A’s, we can get almost suicidal. And, even if they do, there’s no guarantee of half decent employment.

Excel or fail – no in between.

I’d like to live in a world where good enough is once again good enough and be able to recognise that, just as with my training course the other day.

Good enough?





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