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Your vital few

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in Best-Practices Leadership

You’ve likely heard of the Pareto Principle, or “The 80/20 Rule.” But have you heard of the principle of “the vital few and the useful many”?

That’s what American Joe Juran called the phenomenon, which was originally observed by Vilfredo Pareto in 19th century Italy.

Pareto noticed that 20% of his peapods produced 80% of all peas.

And Juran noticed that the distri­bution principle wasn’t limited to ­peapods.

Thinking about “the vital few” can unleash even more observations. You can use the vital-few concept in just about every part of your life.

List your customers by revenue or profit, from greatest to smallest. Don’t stop there. Put the ones at the top, along with your prospects, in a ranked list by potential sales or profit.

A ranked list of your expenses will leave no doubt about how you spend most of your money.

Rank people by the amount of time you spend with them, and you’ll get a clear picture of who influences you.

Once you know what’s important, you can do something about it. Look for high-payoff activities, expenditures and people. They’re your vital few. Put your time, effort and money there.

Source: Wally Bock’s Three Star Leadership Blog.

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