The difference between 20 and 30…

Companies, churches, teams, clubs and platoons all, generally exist within the confines of the 80/20 rule.

80% of the people involved in these environments tend to consume the resources and momentum of the organization while the other 20% work to replace the same resources and momentum and more.

I submit the following:If we as people, regardless of where we currently fit into the 80/20 rule within our current contexts, would abide in the notion that we will be part of the solution, much would change for the good…quickly.

If  we wake up Friday morning and admit the truth about where we fit (related to 80/20) into each of the environments in which we spend our lives, and then act in a way that incrementally moves the ball down the field…everything changes.

For example: As we do our work, whether it be plumbing or building, teaching or cleaning, operating machines or fixing gumball machines, managing projects or mending trousers….

If we do our work in light of the fact that we have a job to do, one that we are being paid to do, one that pays the rent, buys the ice cream cone and finances the minivan.

If we do our work in light of the blessing it is to be healthy and able enough to do that work, we will find ourselves quickly moving from the 80 and into the 20. If this were to happen simultaneously for many within a particular organization at the same time, we would see a shift from 80/20 to 70/30 and then 60/40 and so on. If this were to happen in any organization, the results would be comparable only to phenomenon.

The difference between operating at 80/20 compared with 7/30 even, is astounding. In a group of 100, it means 10 more people are producers and 10 less people are consumers.

The 20% swing is the difference between ok-ness and greatness for the organization, and moreover for the people that took the steps to position themselves on the right side of the equation.

Our guts are amazingly keen so think about it with your belly for a moment. If your chosen environment “namely work” was forced to re-tool more efficiently (down-size) how would it shake out for you. Imagine if there were 100 people in the environment, and they all did the same thing (within reason). If the organization had to go from 100 people down to 20 in order to rebuild, seniority and experience aside, do you believe you would be on the team? Keep in mind that your responsibility is to be exceptional in the eyes of the leadership of the environment, not just in your own eyes. This is to say that many of the people on the 80 side believe they are awesome but suffer from delusion. You are only as crucial to an environment as your leadership believes you are crucial. Certainly there is ramped injustice surrounding this idea but it’s the practical truth all the same. When it comes right down to it, you can believe you are as awesome as you want but when it’s time to “re-tool”, it’s not your opinion of yourself that matters.

80% of people fall into the 80% side of things so this thought will most probably stirr….well… 80% of you.

The great news is that your “environment” probably didn’t decide to re-tool today so you have an opportunity to move towards the land of 20%. If you strive for this and succeed, you may even be able to partner with your organization in the effort of changing the 20% to 30%. If you end up on that team, you also will have earned a rightful place in the land of 5%. 5 of every 100 people in an organization are “mission critical”, meaning the face and value proposition of the organization would change without them on the team. This is the place to strive for. From experience I can say that the 5% team is comprised of a unique mix of personalities and skill sets but a common goal…to work in a way that helps to set the organization apart from the rest as something truly great. These people wake up in the morning with a clear objective…to do the thing I get paid to do in a way that is uniquely excellent.

I really believe that everyone has what it takes to move into the land of 20%…It’s just a matter of  calling things what they are and deciding once and for all to earn our wages by always being on the solution side of the equation rather than the problem side.

This is a picture of Adrian. He isn’t merely on team 20%…he’s on team 5%. He operates a machine called a die-cutter. When a company needs a package to put the thing they make into, they sometimes partner with my company. We print the graphics onto the paper and then Adrian uses a machine about the size of  an F-350 truck to cut those sheets of paper into shapes, so that they can be folded and glued and ultimately used to put the thing into. I’ve worked with Adrian for over ten years, along with many other people that claim to do the same thing he does. The difference between him and them is that he considers it his life’s work to operate a die-cutter better, and faster than everyone else. The result of his approach is absolutely amazing. He and I are on the same team today and I count it a blessing. People like him help to make good companies, GREAT companies.

Thank You Adrian…

One thought on “The difference between 20 and 30…

  1. Very inspirational. My company downsized about a year ago. The transition hasn’t been easy, but it was necessary. The majority of the employees now are in the land of 20%.

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