Everyone who works or is in a position of leadership is always looking for methods, tools, etc. to help them get more done with less. As a person who both studies and is presently in a leadership position its important that we always take time to see how we can be more effective.
If you’ve not heard of the 80/20 principle or haven’t utilized it in your daily life let me quickly give a simple overview of it. The 80/20 principle has been called by a number of names. It’s been also called the Pareto Principle, Pareto’s Law, the 80/20 rule, the Principle of Least Effort, and the Principle of Imbalance.
In the end the 80/20 principle says that a minority of causes, inputs or effort usually leads to a majority of the results, outputs or rewards. Or put another way that there’s an inbuilt imbalance between causes and results, inputs and outputs, and effort and reward.
I’ve heard some leaders rebuff this idea, that they don’t like to think that only a small percentage of what is done effects a large percentage of what takes place. The thing is not to get caught up over the 80/20. The important thing is not the percentage, but the fact that there is an imbalance. And the imbalance will not be 50/50. Not to acknowledge that all of our efforts don’t yield the same results can hurt our pride. But if we dig past the initial disappointment we’ll see not everything produces the same yield. Generally speaking you will find this imbalance in everything.
So the good news from this is that there is a lot of room where we can harvest more if we take the time to investigate the imbalance.
So lets pause here and let me ask, as a leader how does it feel knowing that all of your efforts don’t yield the same results? All of your people don’t yield the same results either. That the imbalance is natural to all human endeavors.
Do you see the imbalance in your efforts as a leader? How about your followers?
Don’t worry keep coming back. In the next part of the series I’m going to talk about what we can do. Using the image above of grapes you might have to do some pruning to get more from the same vine!