A senior VP at Microsoft recently shared something interesting: 1% of 1% of all software engineers at Microsoft are 1000 times more productive than the average software engineer at Microsoft. It means that the majority of all new value comes from a handful of people.

This is a recurring feature in my work with other organizations: A small amount of people account for the vast majority of innovation, productivity, and progress. I call this small minority the 3%.

If you’re a professional and you want to belong to this 3%, you must focus on two things: First, build the behaviors and skills which make you stand out from the rest and become a master in your field.

Second, go to a place where people love and value your work. For example, an outstanding digital security expert might be miserable in real estate, but may thrive in high finance.

If you want to become a more effective leader, it’s not only important to recognize the individuals who are part of this 3% in your organization. You must also remove any obstacles for these 3% to perform their magic. Your most important job is to ensure that your employees can bring their best to work.

Life and work are unbalanced: It only takes 3% to make a huge difference.

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