Universal Truth: Nothing changes in the game until we change the players…

I’ve been wading (slowly) through this book.  The core principles in Chapter Four (“Leading People Talent to Teams”) keep returning to my consciousness long since I’ve blown threw this chapter.  Why?  Why does it keep drifting back to needle me?  Where does the time go in my day? What takes me away from my focus on my top performers?  Why haven’t I spent more time building my bench?  As they say, you can pay now or pay later.  This book is getting under my skin and moving up the rating scale.  Here’s a few excerpts from Chapter 4 of John Hamm’s book titled: Unusually Excellent: The Necessary Nine Skills Required For the Practice of Great Leadership).

…Hiring great people is arguably the highest-leverage activity that leaders undertake, and it is common to find highly respected, successful leaders spending up to half their time engaged in issues around talent, team, expectations, and performance coaching (of your high potentials).  They know that the payoff can be substantial for the investment they make in people.

…High performers set a different standard; they raise the bar for everyone.  If you want to raise the performance of your team, start by hiring one person who performs at a level different from that of your current group.  You will soon see the performance of the whole team move up…the best people in any profession want to work with peers of the same caliber.

…Talent follows the normal Pareto 80/20 principle – 20% of your team produces 80% of the organization’s value and ability to execute competitively…these are rainmakers – people in every functional area who, against the odds, just always make things happen.  You need these people – and you know what they look like because you have some of them now.

…Unusually Excellent leaders take hiring seriously and personally…they are on the hunt, constantly and relentlessly, for talented people – – using every resource available to (1) identify the people they should know and (2) get to know them.  They are always networking and always selling their company – meeting people who could lead them to the superstars, whether they are active in the market or not.


  1. I am retired and love it. But I have three grandchildren, two in high school and one in her first year of college. Your blog helps to keep me informed so I can advise them on current issues. Thank you for sharing you knowledge.



  2. ” Individual commitment to a group effort- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
    – Vince Lombardi You are only as good as your people. Find committed people and treat them well. Great Post. – Kristin, Let life In Practices


  3. One more thought. To figure out who could be the next top performer, treat everyone as if they personally have the potential to be a top performer and then see who raises the bar.


  4. And with 80% of politicians getting re-elected each time, people wonder why nothing changes.


  5. Good post! I can empathize with how this issue is nagging at you. For, if we get it right, it pays huge dividends. We are not islands. Mankind, was designed to work together as a team. Speaking from 35+ years of experience across many industries and functional areas, a well designed and empowered team can achieve much more than a group of individuals. Thanks for sharing the book and your thoughts!

    Enrique Fiallo


  6. Wonderfully informative post about “rainmakers”. I am doing all the rain dances I know rightnow. Whoop!


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