Our performance is unintentionally moulded by the influence of average.
Every time we compare ourselves to the average in our market, organisation or peer group, we surely settle for less than we may be able to achieve.
We have been conditioned in this way and here’s the thing….it leads to mediocrity!
Whilst out with a group of retailers recently, I was struck by their focus on store performance being above the average. In their analysis, stores falling below company average were considered to have performed poorly whilst those above the average were considered to have done well.
Consequently, the focus was all on those below the line.
When you stop to think about it, the flaws in this way of working are very clear. 
Firstly, what kind of message does this give? Achieve average and your performance is considered to be good. Therefore, average is good!
Secondly, it doesn’t take potential into account, the true performance that can be achieved.  
By focusing on what can be achieved rather than what has been achieved by the average, you will start to create a benchmark against excellence, not against average.
Rather than focusing on average performance and benchmarking yourself against that, seek out the best performance, find out what made it the best and set your sights in that direction.
If you really want to be the best….