Front-Line Management 101: Change Your 10%

When I was in the military, I was taught to “change your 10%”—which means to focus on the areas of your job and your life you can control, the ones you can affect and change.

How many items are on your to-do list right now? Your project plan? Your “nice to have if I ever have time” list? More than 10?

Chances are, you are managing many people, places, and things—on your own team, on other teams indirectly by influencing others (such as business partners), your leader, or your leader’s leader. These people could be adjusting or changing too slowly for your liking.

When I was in the military, I was taught to “change your 10%”—which means to focus on the areas of your job and your life you can control, the ones you can affect and change. It doesn’t mean ignoring the areas you dislike, or walking away from unfinished projects. It’s more about focusing on your sphere of influence—your strengths, your team, your knowledge—and building from there.

How can you do it? Prioritize your goals. What’s important to your company, team, or yourself? Communicate those goals. Let your team know what your focus is—for yourself and them. Repeat.

If you work on changing your 10%, your peers work on changing their 10%, and someone down the hall changes his or her 10%.... eventually, you’ll make the needed impact.

Get more information on how to change your 10% at squarepegsolutions.org.

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