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Theory 10-80-10

theory 10-80-10


Theory of 10-80-10 

Take a moment and think about how you react to crisis and unexpected changes that come to your professional and personal life. What energy do you bring to these situations? We all like to think that in time of crisis or big changes we know how to react and what to do. The Theory of 10-80-10, however, explains that in fact most people freeze in time of crisis. The Theory of 10-80-10 is as follows:

  • 10% of people in times of crisis become negative and are counterproductive in those situations.
  • 80% of people do nothing, they freeze, and wait for someone else to take initiative, so they can follow.
  • 10% of people take control and take the lead. They are called “emerging leaders”- although they may not have a title or are high in an organization’s hierarchy, they still have the initiative and motivation to take charge in times of crisis.

So, what can you do in these times? How can you do better in times of crisis? Here are three tips to help you become a better leader:

1. Maintain your point of reference.

You know where you are, now, think about where you want to go. Knowing where you want to go, makes it more difficult for you to leave your path. Keep your focus and get through the fog to reach your end point.

 2. Wait for the motion to stop.

Wait for the motion to stop before you make decisions. Before you take your next step, remember to breathe and take a moment to think clearly. Instead of responding in the moment, take the situation in, and analyze the situation you are in.

3. Practice realistic optimism. When we are in a negative situation it’s easy to believe that everything around us is a threat. In these situations, think about what’s really a threat, an issue, and what things are not a problem. By doing this, you will be able to prioritize and focus on what is important.

Remember to leverage your strengths to help you be successful in times of crisis and change. Make sure to listen to our podcast episode on Theory 10-80-10 here.

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