Top Class and Top of the Class, are two totally different things. We’ve each seen this. People who are top of the class in school and university, may be successful, but rarely are the truly top class and top-of-the-world successful.
Pete (his co-founder) and I thought of the people we wanted to run these new business areas as "10 out of 10s". We had both been judging talent long enough to know a 10 when we saw one. Eights just do the stuff you tell them. Nines are great at executing and developing good strategies. You can build a winning firm with 9s. But people who are 10s, sense problems, design solutions and take the business in new directions without being told to do so. Tens always make it rain.
Here’s what Steve Schwarzman of Blackstone says in his book:
Notice how he doesn’t even mention the 1s to 7s?
Are you an 8, 9 or 10? ?