The Law of 80/20

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[vimeo id="149345405"] You know, many of us know of the 80/20 principle in leadership. Most of us first heard of it when Richard Koch published his book The 80/20 Principle in 1999. But the principle has been around for almost a hundred years! Leaders have often recognized much of the world’s transformation is a result of only a small amount of innovation. That’s one reason it’s vital for a leader to live on the cutting edge! But there are many ways the 80/20 principle influence the life of a leader. Here are just a few examples.

Number one, 80% of your value at work comes from only 20% of your activity. This may come as a surprise to many of us. As leaders, we like to think that everything we do is of the greatest importance. Now, everything you do might actually have value. But it’s not all equally important. The majority of a leader’s impact usually comes from only two or three things they do. So identify those activities, and funnel your energy into maximizing those areas.

Number two, 80% of your energy is invested into 20% of your relationships. This is much more obvious to us. Most of us recognize that all of our relationships have value. But they are not all equally important. For example, my family is my most important relationship. I invest most of my energy into their lives because they are my highest priority. Again, every relationship has a value. But there are certain relationships leaders need to prioritize.

Number three, 80% of your leadership is determined by 20% of your choices. Again, as leaders we like to think that every choice we make is critical. But you know, there are usually only a handful that are essential for a leader to get right. For example, who you hire in your organization is an essential decision. That choice will affect the majority of your other decisions in the organization.

Finally, number four, 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. This is the one every leader has heard. Most people see it as a personal test. Are we the 80% of people that only does 20% of the work? Or are we the 20%? Here’s a different take on it: what if you had an organization that was entirely made up of those “20%”? What could you accomplish if you focused on finding those 20%? The 80/20 principle isn’t a test, it’s a challenge.

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