Understanding The Lake Wobegon Effect

Hi Team!

I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving with family and friends…..

I hope you had a great joy and not too many family meltdowns :)

*we all know how things get around the holidays….

With that said, this morning I want to talk to you about something….

That something is The Lake Wobegon Effect….

Which simply means this:

It is the tendency to overestimate one’s abilities as ones abilities relate to others.

Meaning, we see ourselves better than the skills of others more than 85% of the time.

Think about driving.

When we let somebody else drive, often the passengers (especially the type-As when they actually let somebody else drive) are often on edge….

They believe they are the better driver.

Or, perhaps that business owner.

The business owner that always knows more than their people… (they just do not have the time to do everything or they would-because who is better?)

The baseline of this model is an understanding that when we use others as a baseline to assess our own skills, we can get in BIG trouble.

When we look at the abilities of somebody else and compare them against our own, we often find ourselves feeling inadequate or frustrated or angry- and that is the fastest way to erode a relationship of any kind.

How often do we find ourselves doing this?

  • Look at so and so- I should be where they are…
  • Look at that company- we are much better than them- how are they beating us?
  • We have a better product, better talent, and more capital- how are better than them?

We do this naturally.

We knock others down to preserve ourselves…

But what if today, we decided to size ourselves up against ourselves?

We discover how we are really doing relative to ourselves?

Or, how our companies and teams are doing relative to say last quarter, last year, etc.

How are you/ we trending?

You see, the game of comparison is irrelevant to your journey because there will always be somebody with more, maybe.

I say maybe because who said more is better- and who said he/she with more is the winner?

I have seen many with less and more internal piece actually have a great net worth via self-esteem and comfort of self than those who have amassed more of a fortune by the Worlds success standard.

Now, I am not saying do not go for gold- go for gold!

But you must define what gold means to you and your family first.

To you and your team.

To you and your company.

So, starting today, I want you to take an inventory of where you are right now- in real time.

From today, you will grow out of that position.

You vs. You.

Complete disregard for how others are performing because it does not matter.

It is You vs. You.

Your team vs. Your team.

Your company vs. Your company.

But Coach, I need somebody to compete against…

Well, you have it…

Read the above.

Compete against you.

You will be amazed at how by doing so you will learn so much about you, your team, your TRUE strengths and your TRUE weaknesses.

When you can do this- and maintain the habit you will do more winning than ever.

For those who love horse-racing like me, why do horses wear blinders?

Blinders are a tool designed to keep the horse focused on where HE is going- not caring about what is going on to his left, right, or behind. Only focused on forward.

So, put your blinders on and lets freakin go!!

Your Coach,



Dana Cavalea is the World Champion Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!

World Champion New York Yankees Director of Strength & Performance. High Performance Executive Coach. Keynote Speaker. On-Camera Talent. #trainlikeapro

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World Champion New York Yankees Director of Strength & Performance. High Performance Executive Coach. Keynote Speaker. On-Camera Talent. #trainlikeapro

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