I listened to a Malcolm Gladwell podcast on the drive to town this morning. (link below) He was discussing his thoughts on high performing individuals He did the podcast alongside his friend, Adam Grant, an Organizational Psychologist. They shared the results of a couple of studies to show how impactful being around the right team was to individual success.
Google brought in Grant to study their company and asked him what one thing he would have them change as an organization. Grant noted that all of Google's greatest innovations came about through teams. Grant suggested that he would do "lift outs." Hire whole teams. Promote whole teams. Fire whole teams. Teams outperform individuals. He said he would not focus on high-performing individuals, but on highly successful teams. The people you surround yourself with really matters!
Gladwell referenced a NASA study of airline accidents. 75% of all airline accidents occur when crews are flying together for the first time. Furthermore, the study showed a well rested, freshly trained crew working together for the first time consistently under-performed a tired crew who just pulled an all-nighter, but who had regularly served together. The people you surround yourself with really matters!
Gladwell also referenced a study on cardiac surgeons that found their success rates were tied into which teams the surgeons worked with more than his/her training, experience, or how rested they were. The people you surround yourself with really matters!
So the question is, with whom do you surround yourself? We can't all choose who our companies hire. Most of us can't dictate who is on our work team. But we can choose to intentionally build in time to surround ourselves with positive people. With healthy people. With people who will love us enough to listen to us and speak truth into us. Hopefully those are people in your Pittsburgh Experiment group. But wherever you find those people, find them. The people you surround yourself with really matters!
As Darren Hardy writes in The Compound Effect:
“According to research by social psychologist Dr. David McClelland of Harvard, [the people you habitually associate with] determine as much as 95 percent of your success or failure in life.”