What Do Top Executives and CEOs Consider ‘An Exceptional Employee’?

June 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

This May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a passing comment in a New York Times article about the ever-escalating “war for talent” in Silicon Valley that was not lost on the author of this Harvard Business Review blog article. In what he deems ‘has become the entrepreneurial equivalent of a verbal tick’  he explores what CEOs and top executives really consider is an exceptional employee.

“Someone who is exceptional in their role is not just a little better than someone who is pretty good,” Zuckerberg argued when he was asked why he was willing to pay $47 million to purchase FriendFeed, a price that translated to about $4 million per employee. “They are 100 times better.”

“The gap between what a highly productive person can do and what an average person can do is getting bigger and bigger,” says Marc Andreessen, the legendary cofounder of Netscape, who is now one of Silicon Valley’s most well-respected and established venture capitalists. “Five great programmers can completely outperform 1,000 mediocre programmers.”

 

 

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