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GLADWELL: Are "A" Players Repelled by Large Concentrations of "A" Players at Your Company?

Capitalist Note: Argued with someone about speaking the truth to their CEO about the reality of recruiting all "A" players yesterday, so this one is going back up...

Got a video you need to see today, so email subscribers, please click through.

You want "A" players in your company, right?  We all do, even to the extent we make generalizations about having all "A" players, even though that is impossible for a couple of different reasons.  First, few companies can aggregate and sign all "A" players.  It's a recruiting and economics issue.  Next, even if you had all "A" players, logic would suggest that to stretch them, you'd raise the bar on performance expectations, because you're a puppet-master architect, right?

Well, don't worry about it.  Watch the video relative to performance from Malcolm Gladwell.

In the video, Gladwell explains that Harvard is filled with the smartest people in the world, and perversely that makes it a dispiriting place to go to school. 

At Harvard, the lower tier students are as smart as the top tier students at an average school. However, the lower tier students get just as discouraged at Harvard as the lower tier students at an average school. The result: They don't get their degrees in math or science.  The problem is that even a smart kid struggles to keep up when competing with the uber smart. As a result, the kid feels inadequate and drops the degree.  Even if they're one of the smartest people in the country.

The drop out rates at Harvard in Math and Science degree programs are the same as a 3rd tier school.  Gladwell takes it a step further and looks at performance of PhD students related to publishing rates.  Same vibe.

Gladwell says the condition is related to something called "relative deprivation".  I'll let you look that up.

My take - Gladwell's findings are one more reason why you can't have all "A" players.  Even if you could do that, a certain number of those "A's" are going to feel like "B's", and flee the scene. Which is coded under "regrettable" turnover, but is nothing you could control.

Watch the video - it's one of the best things you'll see this year.  


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