If you haven't seen it, Alec Baldwin gives an incredible good performance in a one shot scene in Glengary Glen Ross. The speech itself is just an incredible mastery of art. Too bad it's also evil. The key line is "Coffee is for closers." which means that only winners get perks.
In that scene, he effectively preaches what I call "douchebag capitalism". The heart of his speech is that people should only be rewarded for success, not for trying. It is based on the false belief that success is entirely based on your innate nature, rather than on the tools you are given or the environment you are in.
So if you are a "Coffee is for Closers" person, then you fire all the people that are not closers. Then you hire a bunch of new people, hoping to get at least one 'closer'. Repeat Ad Nauseum.
The problem is it is based on a false world view. In reality, success is far more often built on the work of others. Whether any individual does well is usually mostly dependent on three things:
1) Have you been given the powers and tools necessary to do your job in your current environment (i.e. has your boss screwed up? - are you trying to sell gold plated crap in a recession? )
2) Your social skills. Can you make friends with your fellow employees and customers? Do they like AND trust you?
3) How hard you tried.
As proof, I will tell you what every HR person in the world knows - when you advertise most jobs you are generally flooded with resumes of people - all of whom on paper are competent to do the job. You are not looking for the one person that can do the job, but instead the person that fits into your corporate culture the best. Someone you will get along with, not someone that will miraculously solve all your problems.
Finally, and most importantly - how hard you tried is often determined on whether you are properly incentived for things BESIDES total success. It's not enough to give coffee to the winners, you also have to give it to the second placers.
Frankly, if an employee has not tried hard enough that usually means the BOSS has screwed up, not the employee.