There's a myth spreading far and wide. And you may be one of the people spreading it.

It's a myth about high-performing companies.

This myth says that high-performing companies are such because they find and keep high-performing individuals. The best of the best. The heroes among us.

I read this everywhere, and I'm sure you do, too. The more we read about it, the more ubiquitous the idea becomes.

We're bombarded with articles bearing headlines such as:

"Why High Performers Are Your Most Important Asset!"

"Best Practices for Hiring High Performers"

"How To Harness the Full Potential of Your High Performers"

Now, I know that you might not believe it to be a myth, as it appears to be so true and obvious. Isn't it obvious that to be a high-performing company you need the highest-performing people you can get?

Not by a long shot. Bear with me while I explain.

This myth is, I believe, spread by people who are high performers. It is not spread, of course, by people who are not high performers.

It is spread by people whose entire psycho-performing outlook on life is driven by Self--the Grand Self, the Performing Self, the Self-Confident and Relentless Self.

By the ones who have stepped up, if not to smell the roses, at least to confound their bosses and their leaders, as well as their so willingly aggravated underperforming peers, whose lives have taken on such a totally different psycho-conforming stripe as to render them next to useless to those companies hungering to become one of the top-performing companies in their class.

So what's the alternative?

Although many believe extraordinary companies are so because they hire, inspire, and eventually retire the best of the best among us, I would ask you to witness, please, McDonald's--yes, the Golden Arches of Big Mac fame--to look at those kids, those, undereducated or not-yet-educated millions who bolster their holster to step up to the plate, to do the good work they do, every single day.

Just look at those kids, using, without complaint, the stunning system Ray Kroc created. To make certain that, with his vision, and with his determination, and with his resilience, and with his perpendicular intent, one of the most successful, high-performing companies of all was created, doing what it does better than all the rest, as a testament to the brilliance of good old Ray's genius, which said, "High performers my * * *! Give me Shanice and Kristi and Julio and Danny. The Mac of McDonald's will do all the rest."

Go get 'em, Ray!

And remember: High performers need not apply.