I’ve been teaching the profound truth of the Pareto Principle for years – often referred to as the 80/20 rule. You know, the one that says you accomplish 80% of your work in 20% of your time, or that 20% of the people in an organization are responsible for 80% of what is accomplished. Think about that. 80% of people are content to put in a marginal effort.
The 100/0 Principle is a little book published by Simple Truths that caught my attention. Because I’ve been writing about relationships within the context of team building, I was captivated by the premise of author Al Ritter, who describes this principle as taking full responsibility (the 100) for a relationship, expecting nothing (the 0) in return.
Say what? That doesn’t make sense. No, it’s actually a revelation that can transform a relationship. I’ve tested it in marriage and can tell you, it’s excruciating. It involves humility and tremendous self-discipline, including swallowing your pride and the tough exercise of holding your tongue. It means acting respectful and kind whether you feel the person deserves it or not. The cost to your pride is high but the value is incalculable.
Ritter maintains The 100/0 Principle applies “to those people in your life where the relationships are too important to react automatically or judgmentally.” Well, that sounds like pretty much all relationships, doesn’t it? He suggests it includes work associates, customers, suppliers, family and friends. Yowza.
He goes on to describe the principle paradox by saying, “This may strike you as strange, but here’s the paradox: When you take authentic responsibility for a relationship, more often than not the other person quickly chooses to take responsibility as well. Consequently, the 100/0 relationship quickly transforms into something approaching 100/100. When that occurs, true breakthroughs happen for the individuals involved, their teams, their organizations and their families.
Brian Tracy said that 80% of life’s satisfaction comes from meaningful relationships. It that’s true (and I think the number may be higher) the 100/0 principle deserves serious consideration. If you are up for a supreme challenge, I dare you to test this on a relationship that’s not going smoothly. This is just a test and I promise it won’t be easy. Giving all you’ve got never is. But mark my words, it will be transformational.