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  • Ian Gregory


The rule of 20-70-10 applies to most if not all organizations and it goes like this: 20 percent of your personnel are your stars. They are the ones you turn to when you are under deadline, the ones you turn to when projects are important and the ones you turn to when you have extra work that you need to get done and you don’t have time to oversee it. The only thing you have to worry about with your 20 percenters is burning them out. Your next group is your 70 percent. They are the personnel that know their job and get the work done. They meet all the requirements of the position and are your average to good people. You should be watching them for your future stars, making sure you have them placed in the proper positions and thanking them for their contributions for a job well done.

Now your 10 percent. These can be your biggest nightmare. The ones who require constant supervision, the ones who seemingly live to start rumors and get out of job assignments, and the ones who most leaders mistakenly spend most of their time on. You should only spend enough time on these people to find out if you have them misplaced in the team and if you don’t, GET RID OF THEM. Do it within the rules or your organization, but do it as quickly as you can. There is no room in any workplace for a true 10 percenter and you, as a leader must make sure you take care of your people by not allowing 10 percenters to have a place. By finding out the strengths and weaknesses of your personnel, you will have a better idea of how to build the various teams that you will need to further your organization, you’ll be able to determine if you’ve placed your personnel correctly and you’ll be able to craft a plan to overcome the weaknesses that are unacceptable and bolster the strengths that you may as yet be unaware of. The key to finding your untapped potential is to reacquaint yourself with your personnel and ask the proper questions. Questions like what are your strengths and weaknesses are easy, but follow up with what are their plans to bolster those strengths and overcome those weaknesses. Do they feel properly placed in the organization? Do they feel they are making an important contribution? Is that contribution being recognized? What are their future plans? Do they feel that you’re a mentor and helping? Questions like these can lead to conversations that will help you to properly evaluate and assist in developing the full talent that you have available to you. It will help you keep your 20 percent operating at the top level and avoid burnout. It will help you to grow your 70 percent and figure out which among them are future 20 percenters. And most importantly, it will help you to figure out which of your 10 percenters are just misplaced and which ones need to be shown the door. So good luck leaders. You are charged with much, so develop the tools you need to help you take charge and take pride in developing and growing the teams and individuals you serve.


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