Mediocrity does not scale


Sherwin Rosen (an American labour economist), through his ground-breaking paper – the Economics of Superstars, made an interesting and insightful submission on the importance of having quality talents in a team; whether within an organization, a sports group, association, movement or government. To say it in his words, “hearing a succession of mediocre singers does not add up to a single outstanding performance”.

And what he meant by that is, mediocrity does not scale. It is not something you can buy in bulk and hope for a miracle. You can’t assemble a team of only average players and hope to win the champions league. It doesn’t work that way. And reality is, if it is not there, it is not there.

The converse is the idea of excellence, i.e., showing great skill in your craft, at all times. This kind of exchange is beyond the possession of banal hard skills that we often talk about but requires a lot of emotional labour – it requires you to display rare qualities like generosity and empathy in the course of your work. And these qualities scale. In that, every extra you manage to put in, matters a lot. When you choose to do great work, the entire universe conspires to advance your cause.


  1. Gbenga Oyebanji February 25, 2018 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Unity!

    • Unity March 11, 2018 at 10:50 pm - Reply

      Welcome Gbenga. God bless

  2. alexandra February 26, 2018 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Indeed, when you choose to do great work, the entire universe conspires to advance your cause.
    I believe we are in era where average won’t be a norm anymore, not to talk about mediocrity. In order to have a seat at the table, you will have to be outstanding. The problem is that many will be outstanding as well, so find a way to break the glass ceiling.
    Thanks Unity for sharing.

    • Unity March 11, 2018 at 10:49 pm - Reply

      You are most welcome Alex. Thanks for stopping by

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