• Stephen Olmon

7 Is Meaningless

On a scale from 1-10, how is work going?

On a scale from 1-10, how satisfied are you with your income?

On a scale from 1-10, how much do your children respect you?

On a scale from 1-10, how bored are you right now?

On a scale from 1-10, how meaningless are questions like this?

Not 7. Ever.

I was first introduced to this idea when reading Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss. This has profoundly changed the way I go about rating or evaluating anything - it demands honesty.

Let's say you manage several employees, and it's time for their annual review. The standardized process requires you to rate John Doe on a scale from 1-10 on may things. John is a good employee, but he's not great. He has "room for improvement", but you can rely on him most of the time. He's not average, but he's not stellar. He's a 7.

No, he's not. You are cheating yourself of the truth.

John, in this context, likely should land in the 1-6 category. We already know who our 8-10 employees are - it's clear. Let's be honest. When we eliminate "7" as an option, we gain significant clarity.

Stop being so nice, and start being ruthlessly honest.