The 80/20 Leadership Rule

growing seedling

I had the opportunity to participate in a great meeting with some emerging leaders last week that my husband (and COO of Impact Performance Group) Keven was leading. He was coaching these growing leaders on the importance of developing their team, and why, and he used the 80/20 rule to illustrate his point.

The 80/20 rule breaks down the capabilities of the people on our team, and what they require of me, the leader. For example, if I have a person on my team who is 80 percent capable, then I have to fill that 20 percent gap where they’re not there yet.

If I have five 80/20 people on my team, then 100 percent of my time will be used to fill gaps, because I’ll be filling that 20 percent gap for all five people.

So, what’s the point? Well, there are a couple of them.

First, if I can make my people better, it frees me up. It also keeps me from getting run down, because it takes a lot of energy and time to make people better!

I also need to identify the gaps that each of my teammates has in that 20 percent. Is it an area of weakness another teammate can help fill? Is it training they need? Coaching and direction? What do I need to do to get each of my teammates to 95/5?

Now, let me add that being 80/20 isn’t a bad thing at all. Anytime we take on new responsibilities or a new role we’re probably 80/20, at best. But, as we learn and grow in our new position, we should be working toward 95/5.

So, who are the 80/20s on your team, and what do you need to do to get those individuals to 95/5?

And, who are the 95/5s on your team, and how do you plan to expand their opportunities or challenge them with new roles or responsibilities? 

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