How the 10-80-10 principle can change your business?

Coach Urban Meyer has had great success getting the best from his players, is a master motivator, and a tremendous leader. His ability to quickly turn programs from mediocre to great is a testimony to how he builds those programs from within. I have no doubt if he were hired as a CEO of a major corporation he would thrive because he builds his success on culture within an organization. Culture trumps technique or product every day.

One of Coach Meyers tools for building this culture from within is with the 10-80-10 principle. This principle and its implementation within an organization builds a culture of accountability and selflessness.

Every organization is broken down in the following way:

10%--Top Performers. These individuals make the most sales, build the most business, or are simply the best of the best within your organization. Top tier people are totally bought in and committed to the mission of the organization.

80%--Mediocre Performers. These individuals are the middle of road. They work hard, but maybe not hard enough to fulfill potential. The 80%-ers are doing enough to get buy and are committed to the group but usually aren’t willing to go above and beyond.

10%--Bottom Performers. This group is disengage, disassociated, and disinterested in success for the organization. These low performers have no interest in being great or realizing true potential.

So why does this matter? And how does this principle help me build culture in my organization?

Coach Meyer finds the top 10% of people and asks them to each help turn the 80% group into the top 10%. He asks those high performers to pick someone from the mediocre crowd and bring them into the inner circle of success. Now that top 10% will grow to become 12%, 15%, or 20% of the organization. This internal system for accountability will grow the level of excellence within an organization. The more 80%-ers you can turn into the top 10%-ers the more likely you are of finding success within your organization. The bottom 10% is often disregarded, as this group doesn’t want to get better; therefore Coach Meyer suggests focusing energies and budgets toward building the top 10%.

Ask yourself—Does my organization have a hierarchy like this? Who are they? How can I get my top 10%-ers to pull in those 80%-ers?

The more top tiered performers you have, the closer you are to operating at maximum capacity. Operating at maximum capacity allows your organization to successfully grow or win business.


This principle and Coach Meyers other tools for success are chronicled in his book Above The Line.


Zach is a Mortgage Advisor with State Bank in Dublin, OH. He writes and speaks regularly on personal finance, business development, and leadership. His focused approach on educating clients through the mortgage process allows him to help hundreds of new homeowners each year.

Learn more about Zach at

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