Episode 22: Apply the 85% Rule to Maximize High Performance

A popular management mindset is:

Give 110% effort or you aren’t giving enough!

This approach hasn’t worked.

Not only does this old mindset not produce high performance,

it creates a downward spiral of toxicity leading to burnout.

And from what segment: the highly engaged yet exhausted workers – your top people!

Try to replace your top staff, or you.

Not fun.
And boy can it be costly.

How the heck do we tackle this huge problem?

Instead of maximum effort = maximum results

There’s a new Sheriff in Town.


And we get there by applying the 85% Effort Rule

Less effort can actually leads to MORE success.

Sounds counterintuitive, and it is.

But it makes sense if you think about it.

Sports are a great teacher here.

Unless you are a sprinter, you can’t go all out all the time or you crash and burn.

The great ones pace themselves

Too fast too early, you burn out and get passed by everyone.

But if you pace yourself properly, upping the effort at the right time, you win the race.

And that’s how I as a water polo goalie and my team at USC won its games.

That is exactly what the 85% rule is.

And when you apply it to work you avoid something that just sucks: the daily grind.

Feeling like work is a daily grind sucks the life out of your people

And sucks the profits out of the business.

So if you want sustained high-performance weekly, monthly and annually, what do you do?

You apply the 85% Effort Rule.

Counterintuitive? Yes.

Smarter? You bet.

I intend to make the 85% Effort Rule a daily mantra.

My challenge to YOU this week:

Try the 85% Effort Rule out for YOU and track your own energy and results for the week.

Also ask your team to try it too, and track theirs.

I bet you find you just elevated everything, effort, results and happiness.

Now THAT’s a winner!

And I’ll see YOU at the next 2MMM

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