Survival of the Best Fit

Most schools, companies and organizations measure and reward “high performance” based on individual metrics that include a resume’, accolades, numbers and test scores. The problem with this, according to Shawn Achor, one of the leading experts on success and happiness, “is that it is predicated on a belief in a world of ‘survival of the fittest.’ It teaches us that success is a zero-sum game; that those with the best grades, most impressive resumes, etc., are the only ones to prosper…This formula is inaccurate.” (Big Potential, p. 21).

We now know that achieving our highest potential is not about survival of the fittest but rather, survival of the best fit. In other words, success is not just about how creative, smart or driven you are, but rather how well you are able to relate to people, connect with people, build teams and contribute to the ecosystem of people around you.

Jesus was a master at navigating difficult relationships. He seemed to know how to build and tear down at the same time. On the one hand, He gave little or no time to those who opposed Him, but always made time for those relationships that benefited His mission. And even with a complexity of relationships on His team—tax collectors, fisherman, zealots and businessmen—He equipped them to work as a cohesive whole.

These men changed the world because they had each other. I’m not sure enough has been said about the “Jesus Dream Team” in relation to the kingdom revolution they started. They were all the right fit for the job Jesus called them into. I’m not sure these men, with all of their idiosyncrasies and prejudices could have accomplished much without the whole team. Wasn’t Peter better because of John? Wasn’t John better because of James? Wasn’t James a better man because of his relationship to Philip? I think so.

It is my conviction that we all need allies in our life. Allies are people who love us, believe in us, work with us and don’t cut and run when the going gets difficult. Research is showing that we need an orbit of people, different from ourselves, who are thriving physically, emotionally and spiritually, that we are regularly relating to. Studies indicate that people who are reaching their highest potential and are the most joyful, are those who have a constellation of people in their lives of whom they are learning from, relating to and working with.

It’s not survival of the fittest, but survival of the best fit that matters.

Find your fit,


Steve Holt M.A., D.D.

My newest book, Worshipper Warrior, can be found at