How to Propel Your Team Forward


Welcome to our series on The Strengths Based Leader. As a business, corporate, nonprofit, public service or educational leader, this information is for you.

In today’s blog we will explore how to leverage mindset to propel your organization or team towards the results you want.

What is the Pareto Principle and what does it have to do with Mindset?

The Pareto Principle, commonly referred to as the “80/20 rule” is inspired by the notion that in a given situation, 80% of results are from 20% of causes.

We’ve heard it said: “80% of the work gets done by 20% of the people” or “spend 80% of your time on the top 20% of your priorities” or “80% of business comes from 20% of prospects or clients”.

For the Strengths Based Leader I propose a simple and also challenging 80/20 practice: consider what might be possible if you made the decision to spend 80% of your time and attention noticing, tracking and building upon what’s already working well at your company or in your life as a whole.

What if you spent just 20% of your time and attention on the areas that aren’t working well? To take this a step further, what if you used the strengths you noticed in your 80% time to apply to the 20% that needed improvement?

This seems counterintuitive because we tend to spend 80% of our time (at least!) on what’s not working well and 20% of our time (or less) building upon what is working.  It requires an act of will to turn this thinking around.

What’s the payoff in doing this? When we pay attention to what’s working well, more things work well. It’s that simple.

Why do we tend to spend so much time on what’s NOT working? It’s a question of survival! Eons ago we needed a mental orientation that would help us focus on what wasn’t working so we could outsmart wild animals–for whom we were identified as the dinner entrée.

Our brains still contain that ancient program, but we can start to intercept our own programming by deciding to become more aware of our own thinking patterns in order to know when to shift our thinking off of automatic pilot. We can choose to focus on what’s working and what’s going well.

Reflective leadership questions:

What might happen if you invested 80% of your time in what you and your team are doing well? How many additional positive impacts might be realized?

How much shorter is the distance from very good to excellent than from substandard to very good? And what precious resources might be saved with this kind of efficiency?

If you would like to further explore how to magnify the value of your strengths by becoming a Strengths Based Leader, please call 805-965-8595 or click here for a no cost one-on-one conversation with me. I would love to hear from you and support you in your practice as a Strengths Based Leader.