Editor’s Note: The author Curtis Chocholous, a seasoned executive and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, has written a whitepaper on The 80/20 Law of Leadership, which is available for free on Flevy here. This whitepaper is based on Lean Culture thinking.
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Do you really understand what is really important?
When a leader can truthfully and accurately answer this critically important question, the power of the 80/20 Principle can then be tapped and exploited to motivate behaviors that will drive positively focused actions that ultimately unite organizational oneness in ways of purpose, attitude and labor.
The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.
– Johann W. Von Goethe
In other words, if everything is important, then nothing is. When an organization has too many‘urgent and important’ things routinely in process, the organization becomes disconnected and disables its ability to successfully keep ‘real’ progress in motion.
Too many competing and changing priorities will naturally dilute and weaken employee focus; steal valuable time, talent and energy, and will consequently lead to high employee frustration, team dysfunction and an increased number of low-value-added outcomes. Relationships begin to wither, trust starts to wane, and as result the organizational community and business as a whole suffers.
It has been reported that ” Cognitive Overload” costs U.S. Industry $1.4 Trillion annually. Constant multi-tasking is often the evidence of leadership’s inability to exhibit the character, competence and courage necessary to change it.
Leaders that fail to set the right priorities and tone for their organizations accelerate the effects of The Second Law of Thermodynamics that says; “everything in the universe is running down, becoming less organized and more disordered.” In essence, these leaders become the primary source and cause of compounding distractions, chaos and dysfunction. Truly, everything rises and falls on leadership.
Why do so many organizations seem to live in a reactive mode? There are many reasons, but three major factors are:
- The leaders in these organizations lack self-management skills and effective leadership capabilities.
- They have weak leadership management systems.
- The organizational structure by design counter-acts productive teamwork.
The combined negative effect of these three destructive forces will dramatically reduce employee relational-capacity, engagement, morale and organizational potential to the extent and proportion of their existence.
The key to overcoming these three negative factors is to develop and integrate an 80/20 Leadership Management System into your organization that will lead to identifying the issues that have the greatest possible impact on the success of your business. Then invest the majority of your time working on the one-fifth (20%) of the opportunities that will deliver four-fifths (80%) of the desired results.
80/20 Leadership™ is the way to unleashing the power of 80/20 simplicity.
Keeping it simple takes real character, competence, and courage.