Believe you’re among the top performers in your office?

An article in last week’s BusinessWeek magazine made me laugh out loud.  In an online study conducted from June 28 to July 5, 2007, BusinessWeek asked 2,000 Americans in middle management and above, 25 years and older, "Are you one of the Top 10% of performers in your company?  The amazing result?  A whopping 90 percent of managers think they are in the top 10 percent of performers at their workplace.  97% of executives, 91% of males, and 89% of females said yes.  Hello?  Can you say "denial"?

Obviously these ostriches have their heads in the sand.  While I laud confidence and a positive attitude, most of these people are statistically wrong.  So how would you KNOW if you were one of the top 10 percent of performers in your company?  What is the value of your contribution?  Leaders—you can’t manage what you can’t measure.  What are the critical success factors in your organization for each position and for the company as a whole?  What methods are in place to measure your peers on those factors across the company?  A little competition in the workplace between managers, salespeople, etc., can be healthy and will really show who’s producing in key areas (not just occupying space and staying "busy").  What are you really contributing to your company?



  1. Anything that has to do with the culture of a company is not “measurable.” If measurements ARE taken, they are so incomplete as to lack efficacy. Ask most any honest social-scientist. Or look at Steve Jobs!!

    So I’d have to disagree with your statement, “Leaders—you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” The bummer, then, is that much of the non-written components of a job description (leading to “performance” evaluation) are not measurable. Yet highly *Impacting* of the team/company’s performance.

    Maybe we just rank ourselves as the top 10% of what “I” think is performance.