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The Power of Priorities

: : Managing Your Time : ( words)

There are two things that business people find very challenging: thinking ahead and doing things in order of importance.

Doing these two things makes the difference between success in business and just surviving. And the same is true for all areas of our lives.

Leadership trainer and author John Maxwell says, “Thinking ahead and prioritizing responsibilities marks the major differences between a leader and a follower.”

Most people have heard of the Pareto Principle, more commonly known as the 80/20 Principle. Roughly stated this says that in most businesses 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers.

Other examples of the Pareto Principle are:

Reading:      20 percent of the book contains 80 percent of the content.
Job:            20 percent of our work gives us 80 percent of our satisfaction.
Products:    20 percent of the products bring in 80 percent of the profits.
Picnic:         20 percent of the people will eat 80 percent of the food!

Hence, 20 percent of a business owner’s priorities will give him 80 percent of his production, if he spends his time, energy, money and personnel on the top 20 percent of his priorities.

When a business owner does this, he can get a 400 percent or fourfold return in productivity.

Every business person needs to understand the Pareto Principle as it applies to the areas of customers, team and leadership.

In the area of customers, it is vital to identify the 20 percent who account for 80 percent of one’s business. These are also known as “raving fans”, and strategies must be put in place to care for them appropriately.

Within his team, the business owner must identify the top 20 percent producers. It is important for the business owner to spend 80 percent of his people time with these top performers, in order to develop them to their full potential.

In leadership, it is crucial to take an honest look at the question, “What do I have to do that no one else can do?” A leader is in a position to give up everything except final responsibility.

A leader should decide he will be reactive or proactive when it comes to the use of his time. The question is not, “Will I be busy?” but “How will I invest my time?” It’s not “Will my calendar be full?” but “Who will fill my calendar?” It’s not “Will I see people?” but “Who will I see?”

Having one’s priorities in place can boost one’s productivity and personal satisfaction and make businesses grow to their full potential.

About ActionCOACH

Brad Sugars founded the brand Action International in 1993 when he realized there was a disconnect between business advice and implementation. The answer was Action! Brad Sugars created a business coaching company so that business owners throughout the world can realize their goals in business. Today the company is known as ActionCOACH. To learn more about business, visit Brad Sugars Review blog!

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