Go with average Joe

Average people think they are above average.

People tend to overestimate their positive qualities and underestimate their negative ones.  It’s called illusory superiority.  In ratings of leadership ability 70% of students put themselves above the median.  In ability to get along well with others 85% put themselves above the median while a whopping  25% rated themselves in the top 1%.  And of course, everyone’s children are above average.

Average isn’t desirable and it isn’t in demand.

People who don’t stand-out in the crowd are your organizations greatest pool of untapped talent.  They don’t have charisma. They aren’t exceptionally good looking. They aren’t bubbling with talent.  They aren’t Stars. They’re hardworking average Joe’s. They’re the people who get things done without needing the spotlight.

When should you go with average Joe?

I’d rather have a passionate average Joe than a dispassionate star on my team any day.  In my experience, average Joe’s are more reliable, more dedicated, more loyal, and frequently harder working than Stars.

Choose passion over talent.

This may not work in highly technical fields.  But it works for nonprofits that frequently need volunteers working behind the scenes.  You may choose a star to be your front-man because Stars crave and shine in the spot light.  But Stars aren’t the reason a project is completed on time.  Hard working, selfless, dedicated average Joe’s  are the reason jobs get done.

Have you been burned by a star?  Do you have a story about an average Joe who got the Job done?