What? Isn't it always better to get a Ivy/top shelf graduate for your college program? I know I've had some clients at Kinetix who thought this, and they held on to the belief even in the face of high turnover and lackluster results from college recruiting programs that were solely focused on top tier schools.
Malcolm Gladwell's new book, David and Goliath, debunks this myth with actual data. In David and Goliath, Gladwell does a great job of explaining that top grads at very average schools will outperform average grads from top schools.
Why? In a nutshell, because relative position trumps absolute position. The result is that the top student in any program at Missouri will have more confidence to go out and kick ### in his/her career than a student in the 70th percentile in the same program at Harvard, even the the average Harvard student is a lot smarter than the top student at Missouri.
Gladwell says the condition is related to something called "relative deprivation". I'll let you look that up. For now, I've again used Gladwell's recent talk at Google to show a specific point. Click here to pick up the point in Gladwell's talk where he's talking about recruiting strategy.
Great stuff. Show it to the leader who's convinced any hire that doesn't include a pedigree from a top school is a waste of time.