Toll Free 866-208-7820

Home » In the News » Spheres of Excellence: What Was the Secret Ingredient?

Spheres of Excellence: What Was the Secret Ingredient?

Top Leaders Know the Importance… 


… of the Secret Ingredient 

We’ve mastered the threshold requirements. We’ve mastered the art of our trade. As leaders, we also realize that continuous improvement  is key.

In a study including forty-four Fortune 500 companies (including IMB PepsiCo, & AT&T) comparing top sales performers, the 10% mastered more than twice the results as their counterparts. Further narrowing the study, results showed that top performers were raking in about 88% times the salary of their peers (Goleman, 1998).


A similar study examined the top 10% in the field of computer programming. The results showed that those within the 10% were actually developing effective programs, exceeding their counterparts by 320%.

This brings us back to also prove how Pareto’s 80/20 Principle really does work. So much so, that the computer programmer’s top 1% ranking 1,272% higher than their peers.

So what was the secret ingredient?


teamwork: willingness and ability to work very well with their teams

collaborative nature: which actually falls under the teamwork category, but is still huge part of the equation

relationships: ability to build and sustain good, healthy, and productive workplace relationships

influence: ability to connect with others at a level that influence is natural

adaptability: ability to be flexible

people oriented: ability to weave the ‘people’ part into the equation (explaining what the error code means to a flustered customer by using technical terms is not nearly as effective as explaining it in a manner that appeals to the customer as a human being)


..and this is just the tipping point. It can be boiled down to a handful of competencies, but the aforementioned are a few examples. What are some other ingredients that separate the top… from the rest?




Goleman, D. (1998). Working with emotional intelligence. New York, NY: Bantam Dell