Between appointments last Thursday I was driving and listening to talk radio. And as guys often do – I was listening to ESPN radio. The topic was the upcoming NFL draft, and they were interviewing Todd McShay about his draft predictions.

Colin Cowherd asked Todd about why so many teams passed over Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks QB) last year. Wilson was not drafted until the 12th pick of the third round, which was the 75th overall pick in last year’s draft, yet went on to not only beat out two more experienced QBs for the starting job, but ending up being the #3 vote-getter in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

McShay’s response was classic. He told Colin that he had a wife and kids to feed, and a dog, and people in his business cannot keep their jobs very long if they recommend drafting a QB in the NFL who is under six feet tall – because the odds against a person of that stature making it are overwhelmingly small. Last year proved that it can (and sometimes does) happen that the ‘exception’ makes it – and makes it big. But if your livelihood depends on the success of your picks you have to go with the averages, and the average QB height for those who make it in the NFL these days is usually over 6’3”.

Ever wonder how the people in your company keep their jobs based on their people decisions? How do they measure what typically works in a given role or position, and how often do they find people who look like their current top performers? And if they do measure traits or characteristics, how reliable or valid are the characteristics they are measuring?

Mike McCormack is the President of PeopleRight, and has been helping companies to benchmark or profile their top performers for over 10 years. PeopleRight works with some of the best companies in America in their fields, and others who want to become the best.

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