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Love this post Dan! Great analogy. But . . sometimes the animal on the edge of the herd gets picked out and eaten by the wolves. On the other hand . . . being an "outlier" always has its risk!


It's true that sometimes an animal away from the herd will be attacked. But most herding species work to keep the old, young and infirm in the middle. The strongest, fastest leaders are kept at the edges.

I guess people need to ask themselves if they want to be viewed as strong, fast leaders, or as someone who needs help from strong, fast leaders.

That is wonderful, Dan. Is there a difference between 'moderate' and 'mediocre'??? I wonder. In all the years I have been in this business I have seen tons of 'moderate' folks come and go. (Mostly go I am sorry to say). If you read a text book from the 1950s (one by Herb Heneman or Dale Yoder for example) you see that what was great for the 1050s is seemingly the same old stuff we see now. Yet, have not times changed? You need more than a nice tie and a 'moderate' perspective to succeed these days.

I have always roamed the 'edge of the heard' and nobody has eaten me yet!!!!

The overall statistical reliability of really robust executive pay surveys has increased steadily over many decades due to movement towards the high center. Note I said "the high center" because (a) some surveys overstate means/medians to please their buyers and (b) hired guns are well paid to customize narrow comparison groups of supposed competitive peers to show (what a surprise!?) that their client lags their proper market.

Self-fulfilling prophesies are the rule, and the outliers have become the norm in many comparisons. THAT has become a bigger problem, IMHO, than simple clustering around the center or conscious choices to pay BELOW average. Until more firms choose to target the 40th%ile rather than the 60th or 70th or 90th, selective imitation may remain a greater issue than faux "moderation."

That said, I remain a stalwart foe of "followership."

Dan ---- Personally I love outliers. The bigger the risk the bigger the reward. Maybe that's why I love people in Sales!

Good question I think moderate becomes mediocre when it becomes the only way of doing things. Some moderation is always good. Only moderation is nothing but bad.


Statistics is literally a matter of numbers. When you have enough of them you can get a generally good picture of something. Kind of like a low resolution image from a distance.

But, when you get real close and try and pinpoint and exact detail (something that many comp people do all the time) the lack of granularity becomes apparent. Often the data is more holes than substance.

No country ever became great simply by copying others, it has been said.

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