Are You ‘Above Average’… (At Sex?)

16 Jan 2012

Speaking to a number of CEO’s over the past few months, it’s amazing that the vast majority tell me that their products are ‘above average’ when compared to competitors. Not one tells me their products are below average or inferior in any way – not a whiff of anything so pedestrian as average at all mind you. Similarly, 93% of Americans once rated their driving skills as above average, and 87% of Stanford MBA students once rated their academic performance as above the median. Bet you think you’re above average looking and above average as a sex partner too, huh? Well statistically only half of you are correct.

So what’s going on?

The Lake Wobegon effect (“where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average”), otherwise known in psychology circles as Illusionary Superiority is a cognitive bias where we overestimate our positive qualities and we underestimate our negative qualities, relative to others.

So MAZ what does this have to do with business growth you might ask?

A lot …

Name a company with sustained high growth and a crappy product or service? We can’t think of one either.

It’s understandable why we think our products of services are above average, but the reality is statistically only half of you have products/services that are above the median.

Many companies are kidding themselves; half of all products are inferior and by definition are below the median – it’s a statistical fact. Yet companies hype the markets that their products are ‘above average’ and better than the competition.

Is your growth rate higher than your peers? If not, might it be your (inferior) product is holding you back? How do you really know your product is above the median?

Oh and by the way, statistically half of you are above the median in terms of sexual performance and the other half of you aren’t; nothing personal mind you, just a statistical fact.

Up and Right!

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