Every political structure, every organization, every relationship has at least one.
The topic, that once you bring it up, must be addressed. An argument so existential that it cannot be left alone. An argument that gets to the crux of the matter, one that’s so fraught everything else pales in comparison.
I can’t even type an example from today’s world here, because if I do, the entire point of the post will be taken over by waves of urgent outrage.
Which is my point.
The purpose of the perfect argument is to make sure we don’t actually get anything done. The perfect argument is perfect because it never ends, because it is a trap for our focus and our energy. And the best reason to bring it up is that it permits someone to veto the forward motion that was about to happen somewhere else.
Perhaps the response is, “you’re right, that’s urgent, let’s discuss it after we fix the problem we’re currently working on.” Or maybe, “we need a forum to make real headway on the topic you want to discuss, but this isn’t it.”
[PS Today, we’re launching sign-ups for The Real Skills Conference. It’s a worldwide video conference that you can do from your desktop. In less than three hours, you’ll have a chance to connect with others on a similar journey. You’ll discover new co-conspirators, learn new approaches and find the confidence to do the work that’s in front of you. It happens on January 17th, hope to see you there.]