This week I saw an interview with a race car driver who said his team needed him to be "perfect" out on the track.
"Wow," I thought. "That's a daunting expectation." But maybe it's appropriate. This was in the highest ranks of racing, where only the very best compete with the very best. The same is true of all of the world's top sports leagues: a relative handful of people play the game, so the caliber of competition is truly unattainable for most of us.
But that's not the case in business.
We may not want to admit it, but we can be daunted by our perception of other businesses. Maybe it's a big company, with a famous name and thirty highly-paid people for everyone one of ours. Maybe it's a pedigree - an MBA from an elite school or, heaven forbid, a PhD. Maybe even a British accent to top it off.
Don't believe it. The PhD may not get it right, the MBA can be sloppy, the venture capitalist has blind spots, and the big company doesn't have its act together. We all have foibles and faults, and the world's business workforce is too big for the exceptional talent to be gathered in one place.
I've certainly come across organizations that are just plain better than most. But they don't correlate to size or brand or pedigree or geography. They correlate to culture and diligence.
The playing field is level. Get out there and compete.