Surround yourself with the best people you can and you will be a better person. 

    I wish it came earlier, but I was 45 when I got that advice.

    If you heard that “there is good in everyone” and that “the victory goes to the ones who want it the most” – then you heard the same as I did growing up.  If you bought into it, you may wonder why your career or your department is running in the middle of the pack.  Truth is, if you want to be the best and have an above average career, department, company or life you need to surround yourself with above average players.

    It never fails to astonish me to hear a manager rant for a quarter of an hour on the need for the local football team to dump its mediocre quarterback to bring in fresh, game-tested talent yet he cannot make the leap to see the same issue on his own team.  Year after year, performance reviews cross his desk with average players getting above-average reviews and the team fails to make any true headway.  Why?  He doesn’t have the talent.

    An exercise I like to challenge myself with is to look at my team and ask myself “If I were hiring for that position today, would I re-hire this person into their position knowing what I know about their performance?”  (Important note: I am not asking about their POTENTIAL or their HISTORY.  The ONLY criteria is their performance in the position they currently hold.)  If the answer is NO, I make plans to correct that issue.

    Today’s economic environment requires every business leader to deliver the best results possible for their customers and their stockholders.  The winners will be rewarded and the losers will not have done anyone a favor by rewarding a mediocre team with the misguided belief that they are great.  Begin with great talent – the best you can find – set the bar high, give your personal best and then you will reach your goals.