Second Best

Comparing “best to worst” doesn’t help much—not with a sales force, or call center personnel, or even athletes. Your worst isn’t going to become equal to your best, no matter what you try.

It’s better to compare “best to second best.” The next-best people are potentially able to equal your best if they learn their practices, secrets, and regimens. This is how to seriously increase your top performers. In so doing, you may learn things to help poorer performers.

But on the whole, business and industry waste too much time on remedial work. They need to invest in the all-stars, and then compare them to the next best, to bring he latter up to their level. Poor performers need to be transferred to other jobs or terminated. That may sound like a harsh decision, but that’s why we have a level called “leadership,” which is supposed to make the tough decisions.

© Alan Weiss 2015

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