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If an employee told me they were 80% committed I’d be thrilled to death! How about you? If you think I’ve lost my mind, bear with me a minute…
Dan Sullivan, founder and CEO of the Strategic Coach has written a neat little book called “The 80% Approach” in which he explains that getting any project done 80% is critical to getting anything at all accomplished. Dan points out that procrastination is the result of perfectionism and that together these two traits ensure that projects never get started much less finished.
You see perfectionism demands a 100% result. But knowing that we are targeting perfection (100%) many (most?) people simply cannot gather the enthusiasm, energy or courage to begin. This is otherwise known as procrastination. Sound familiar?
On the other hand, Dan points out that our 80% is accepted by others as 100%! And he says that 80% is often superior to 100% because striving for 80% leads to a much faster and superior result most of the time, especially since most of us work in teams and our 80% allows the rest of the team to be engaged. He says that “procrastination prevents team work.”
The key to success is “always get the first 80% of any project done as quickly as possible.” I’ve certainly seen the truth of this in my own life and business over and over again. Putting off projects because either I feel inadequate to tackle them, or because I dread the effort to reach perfection, results in their never being done.
On the other hand when I have accepted that something isn’t going to be perfect, but that others can make it better, I’m off and running and something important gets done! Dan reminds me that if I get my 80% done and other team members then contribute 80% we’ve achieved 96%! That’ll get the job done in just about any situation.
Procrastination is a killer of progress, confidence and success. It’s frustrating to everyone and is one of the biggest limiters of growth in any business. So, when you hear, “I’m in 80%!” stop and celebrate because you and your team are on the way!