Platt’s Perspective

michaelplattI was watching a news segment the other day talking about the growing trend in the school systems to foster self-esteem in children by having them participate in events where there are no winners and no losers and everyone is treated equally. The theory is that children will feel better about themselves if they participate, but do not have to worry about competitive forces. As they grow up, it is believed they will be more self-assured and will be better citizens and better employees.

I believe that approach is utter nonsense. Personal responsibility for assuring business success is viewed entirely differently by those who are “winners” and those who are not. In business, everyone is not equal, and in my opinion should not be treated the same. If you are a superstar, you should be given the opportunities to accelerate your skills and rise above the crowd. If you are an average performer, you should be coached to improve performance, but if you can’t cut it, it’s time to find a new career.

This may seem cold and callous, but the stakes in business are too high. The experts we conferred with for this month’s issue agree that employees and partners should be treated fairly, but not equally. Those who are better at what they do should be on a faster track than their counterparts. “Political correctness” says that you shouldn’t favor one person over another – “Business Success” says you must.