Adequate Isn't Enough Compass pointing toward the word excellence..

Adequate Isn’t Enough

I asked a good friend of mine who played in two Super Bowl games for the Miami Dolphins and is a Michigan Wolverines Alumni how he thought Michigan would do this season, given they lost their beloved coach and many other members of their coaching team.

What he said shocked me.

He said, “It’s more about the recruiters today than it is about the coach.”

Meaning: yes, you have to be a good coach, but if recruiters can scout and find the best talent to play on your team, that’s the winning formula for success.


It made me stop and think about how we build teams in business.

Often, business owners look for people with potential. People they can coach and develop into the role, and people they can afford. They don’t always go out there looking for the absolute best they can find – but what if you did?

What if you became ruthless about only hiring A-performers all the time? What if you had a clear set of expectations, and if people didn’t meet them, they got cut from your team?

How might this change the results in your business?

A few weeks ago, while listening to Episode #730 of The Tim Ferriss Show, Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix, said something that really stuck in my mind and aligned with what my friend said. Hastings said:

“So if you think about a sports team, if you want to win a championship and you’ve got 11 slots, you’ve got to have the very best player you can get in any position. And they have to be a great team player and work well with others. Our model is built around that. So we said adequate performance, i.e., good enough, gets a generous severance package. The reason we wanted people to focus on that is how different it was because normally adequate for work is good enough to stay. And we’ve said, ‘What if a place was filled just with amazing people, and you had that kind of talent density?'”

Normally adequate is good enough to stay. But what if it wasn’t?

What if you no longer hired and/or retained adequate performers? Even more so, what if you no longer accepted adequate from yourself?

What would that mean to the success of your business?

I challenge you right now to write down the names of every person on your team, including yourself (actually write your name down twice), and then, beside each person’s name, give their performance a rating. Are they poor performers, adequate performers, or exceptional performers?

For you, score yourself in terms of the work you do and, again, your leadership skills.

Are you happy with the overall mix of your team?

If not, you have some work to do if you want to take your business from adequate to exceptional. Start with you. You’re leading by example, and you cannot lead a team to be exceptional without modeling that type of work ethic.

Next, find a way to replace your poor performers with exceptional performers one at a time, and then tackle those who are adequate. Commit to new hiring standards and be relentless about hiring the best from day one.

What if you aspired to being the most exceptional you can be in all that you do? What then might be possible for you as well?


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

Related Posts