Thursday, May 3, 2012

Society: We are Not Average (NPR) So You'll Want To Be A Superstar

Source:  NPR (Morning Edition)

A new research is showing that the old bell curve no longer applies.  In truth, this research says that a few individuals perform really while the rest of the herd kinda trail off.  I like to think I'm pretty smart.  In fact, I am. Very quick to pick things up and quite resourceful.  Don't worry. Chances are that if you're reading this blog, you are just like me, if not better.  Well, average, no?

In truth, we're all brilliant.  Sure there are outliers who underperform.  But with the bell curve trying to recognize only a few great performers, many of us are lumped into the big bell, literally and mentally constrained when our accomplishments and contributions are much more.  At least that's what this new research from Kelley School of Business in Indiana is saying.

I find this very interesting and in accordance to my own belief.  While I am proud of my accomplishments, I work hard at them but it isn't to say that I don't believe others are unable to do the same given the same resources and opportunities I have had in a given situation.  In fact, I marvel as those friends who easily excel where I struggle.

There is no normal distribution as far as this new research.  In a given job or task, there are these "superstars" that contribute a disproportional amount to a group's output - be it winning awards or writing papers.

What do you think?  The study is worth reading if you really have the time. Their uses of publishers and entertainers with given data is quite an eye opener.  However, there is a lot of question regarding the methodology used in this study.

From the NPR post, there are disagreements about this study.

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