Elon Musk says he is hard to work for. I have read that same point about Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and many other company building super stars. I believe, to them, being hard to work for means challenging those around them to perform at a higher level. The hardness comes from having to get out of one’s comfort zone to grow to a new level. In a professional or personal life I call that growth evolution, and some including me believe evolution is what life is all about.

Improving one’s productivity can be great for the person and their employer. In the 1960s the US Navy did a study of computer programmers that showed that the difference in productivity between the least employable person and a best performer was a factor of 100x. That study has been confirmed many times and I believe that if one could quantify productivity for other jobs like can be done for programmers where debugged lines of code is a relevant measure of productivity, we would discover that the best performers are orders of magnitude more productive than the worst performers for such things as learning speed, judgment, task completion times, accuracy and many more hard to quantify performance variables.

Think about how well your company will do by any measure if you surround yourself the highest performers. Can 10 of the best do more than 100 Oks? I think that is the case. The rub is finding, recruiting and retaining top performers. You will likely find that it is more practical to develop top performers from your current staff and the trick is figuring out how to do that.

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