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Understand Rankings. Overcome Rankings. Press On.

Rankings in DSM

October 6, 2021

Have you ever used ratings, rankings and reviews to make decisions? I have.

Rankings or ratings can help make better and faster decisions. Decisions such as purchases for the household, places to go, things to eat and teams to cheer for. As long as the decision is not specific to who I am as a person, I find a ranking or rating helpful.

As helpful as a ranking or rating can be, they have sometimes failed me when used alone. For example, I should have considered factors like team persistence and endurance when I completed the 2021 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket.

In 2021, the men’s NCAA basketball tournament experienced the most wins by lower-ranked teams in the history of the tournament. People ended up off-balance if they leaned on rank to pick the winning team.

One of the most impressive teams in that tournament was UCLA, a #11 seed that won the championship for their region.

Did this mean that UCLA started with the wrong rank? Was their performance a testament to their determination and ability? Were the other teams overrated?

Rankings matter; however, other factors also help make decisions. It is a big decision to select training and education, an employment opportunity or a community to start a business. What are the most important factors or rankings that drive your decisions?

Two rankings that played an important part on my decision to stay in Iowa were relationships and employment. I did not rely on rankings to make my decision, but I did receive reviews that were almost as fair as the Iowa summer weather. I have a few regrets, but I've been well able to earn access to employment opportunities. According to US News, Iowa has an opportunity ranking of #1. I’ve experienced that. Iowa also has an equality ranking of #27, and I observe that.

The equality ranking isn’t a number that sits well next to our state’s name. Especially if playing in the “attract new residents” bracket.

Although it doesn’t look good, don't forget about other factors like persistence and endurance. Despite our ranking for equality, can Greater Des Moines (DSM) stay persistent in the pursuit to improve the quality of life for more people? Will this pursuit endure through changes in leadership, programs or funding to move the needle?

For Those Considering the Leap to Iowa

The Greater Des Moines Partnership advocates, shares information, invests and provides support in communities. Over time these investments may attract more families and professionals to our state. If you're looking for better, Iowa could make that possible for you. Rankings could help with your decision.

If you don't like what you see at first, pay attention to team persistence and endurance to sustain well-being and do better for more people.

For Those of Us Here in Iowa

In two years, the first two rounds of March Madness will be at Wells Fargo Arena in Downtown DSM.

We don’t know what teams will get an invitation to play; however, people can plan to be a part of the experience in 2023.

Next time you see a basketball or fill out an NCAA bracket, consider if there are shots you can take to improve equality in our region or state. Who will you connect with and help lift up in an effort to improve equality?

Press On

Let’s understand and overcome rankings, then stay persistent in our pursuit to improve Iowa. To close, here are some thoughts on persistence from Calvin Coolidge:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Named the #1 Best Place to Live in the Midwest and #2 Safest Place to Live, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a city where you can have it all. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Sam Reed

Sam Reed took a leap of Faith after the 2016 leap year to found and begin building Leap Here. His challenging journey as an entrepreneur has been filled with failed ideas but enlightened with meaningful small wins. With small steps, he persists to build fair recruiting, staffing and training services.