We all know the 80/20 rule, right?

The Pareto Principle:
Roughly 20% of what we focus on brings us 80% of our results.

Is it easy to stay in the top 20%? No it is not. Without a plan and constant vigilance, people and events will constantly consume your time pulling you out of your 20% and into the 80%.

How The Pareto Principle Impacted Keller Williams

Recently, the President of our company had been through a long period of getting hit with drama coming at her from multiple fronts. She was virtually drowning in problems people in our organization had been bringing to her over a fairly long period of time. Being highly accountable and responsible, she attempted to take it all on, determined to solve the problems. What followed was our company numbers began to decline. Her health began to decline. This amazing, strong and talented woman, came to me so burned out she was on the verge of leaving her career.

Who Was at Fault?

After drilling down, the evidence became clear. It was her fault. Sounds cold, right? She had unwittingly established a ‘standard’ in our company of allowing people to absorb her time and energy with negative, non-productive, and, in some cases, downright inappropriate and non-work related issues. In looking closely we were able to establish that by allowing people to gossip and focus on negativity, it was not only ruining her days. It was taking a significant toll on her health, and, long-term, it would cause the company considerable harm.

How She Found a Solution

After lengthy discussions we were easily able to determine her fingerprints were all over this. She had unwittingly given up what she loved, and replaced it with the very bottom of her 80% (which should never have reached her to begin with). She created new boundaries, and new expectations. The change was immediate and visible. Back on track, and in her 20% she is a very happy powerhouse who changes lives. People magically stopped coming to her for the wrong things, and our numbers began to climb.

Moral of the Story: Define and Put Boundaries Around Your 20%

The reality of this story is that our problems are frequently of our own making. One of my favorite sayings is, “Do not complain about what you tolerate.”  At the end of the day, it is simple if you keep it simple. By gaining clarity, such as having outside eyes in the form of a mentor or coach, and setting healthy expectations and boundaries, we can move mountains. Being too responsible can be a detriment to your business and your health. What is your top 20%? Are you staying in it?