Thursday, January 24, 2019 | ePaper
Keep out negativity in business
Pareto principle has been applied generally in businesses. Imagine if your journey to your best self were 10 steps. You are standing at step number eight. What would be your next move?
I like to use Pareto's principle to determine my next move over and over. To understand the principle, you need to understand the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. Vilfredo noticed year after year 20 per cent of the pea pods in his garden produced about 80 per cent of the peas. So being an economist, he looked around and wondered if this applied to other areas as well.
Sure enough, he noticed all kinds of 80/20 principles at play such as 80 per cent of land is owned by 20 per cent of the population; 80 per cent of revenues were produced by 20 per cent of the factory activities etc. This was back in 1906.
Since then, Pareto principle has been applied generally in businesses in many areas such as:
>Results: 20 per cent of our time produces 80 per cent of the results
>People: 20 per cent of the people in your circle influences you 80 per cent of the time
>Leadership: 20 per cent of people lead 80 per cent of the rest of us
>Clothing: 20 per cent of your wardrobe gets used 80 per cent of the time
>Food: 20 per cent of the food you eat gives you 80 per cent of your weight
In short, the Pareto 80/20 principle means 80 per cent of your results comes from 20 per cent of your actions i.e. your next two steps. So, what should you do not?
Answering the following questions might help:
1-What power and passion can you incorporate now into 20 per cent of your week knowing it can you give 80 per cent of your results? An easy way to do this is make a list of the 10 most important things you need to do today in order of priority. Then decide which two items on the list give you 80 per cent returns.
2-Who are the 20 per cent of people you're close to who can truly mentor and help you reach your leadership potential?
3-What 20 per cent work can you do now that gets you 80 per cent praises from your boss or peers? (Do not limit yourself to you experience or degrees, it could be that you get the most praises for your cupcakes).
These are not hard questions at all. Just sit, write them out and answer them truthfully. After that, you may answer these additional questions also using the Pareto 80/20 principle:
1-Who are the 20 per cent of toxic people you spend time with often that upset you 80 per cent of the time?
2-What do you spend 80 per cent of your time doing every day that only gives you a 20 per cent return?
3-Who and what are the 20 per cent of positive things in your life that make you feel good 80 per cent of the time?
Lies and denial create traps we can fall into when we are trying to do a course correction. So do some proper self-reflection before you answer the questions. Journaling, for instance, is a great way to actually figure out what you actually do all day. You cannot renovate or re-build your life as a leader without acknowledging realistically how you spend your days.
Note that Pareto's 80/20 principle is not cast in stone for all situations. However, it is a great tool to identify and consciously acknowledge your negative behaviour, characteristics or life patterns. Creating a rule of Pareto to frame certain elements of your life certainly gives you enough knowledge to develop a winning strategy in your leadership journey.
For me personally, as a highly intuitive person I pay attention to how I feel when I am determining my next move. While intuition is not always accurate since we confuse it with emotions, with daily practice, you actually learn the difference between a hunch "I know this and recognise the pattern" and an emotion "I am just off and having a bad day" and need space to regroup on this person or matter. My next move also involves guarding my space/company like a hawk because I recognise the energy of others around me affects me. In fact, I may be the only person I know with less than 50 Facebook friends just to protect my next two steps!
(Sallyann Della Casa delivers 21st century skills through her edu-tech APP, GLEAC)