I like Mark Effron’s idea of the ‘flexible 50%’. It says that while we may have little control over important aspects of our personality, background or general mental ability (GMA) – we still get to control at least 50% of those factors linked to our success! In lay-mans terms ‘it is not the cards you are dealt, but how you play them’.
Whether the ‘flexible’ figure is exactly 50%, or not (and some days I would prefer to think it could be a lot higher) doesn’t really matter. That is because most people say that they are operating at around 60% of their full potential (see our last book called Pitstop to Perform™).
The problem is not a lack of potential – creativity, intelligence, passion or anything else. The challenge for leaders is to unlock these, or more specifically to enable and empower people to tackle those factors that are preventing people from realizing more their full potential.
As our Pitstop Analytics™ data shows, there are up to 186 ways to do this, but even small improvements in a number of areas can have an overall significant impact on performance (as well as well-being) at the level of the individual, or team.* So, the flexible 50% it is an very encouraging idea, indeed.
*186 is the number of factors (called performance losses) identifies by leader and their teams as impinging on the realization of their full potential.