top of page

10-80-10 Leadership Principle

The 10-80-10 Principle is one of the best ways for visionaries and strategic leaders to delegate.

Here it is. For any big project, divide the entire 100% process into three sections: (10-80-10) Pour yourself, the leader, into the first 10% in order to get the project started on the right track. Then hand off the middle 80% to the team of integrators. After the team has taken the project almost to completion, dive back in again and help with the final 10%.

A similar process to piloting a plane. The crucial parts of the flight are the takeoff and landing. They’re the most dangerous, and the most complicated.

What You Provide Your Team For The First 10%


Share with the team what exactly you want the outcome to be. Use this time to make sure you’re on the same page and have the same goal.


Focus on 3-5 simple objectives. Make them visual and SMART:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Relevant

  • Time-based


Each person needs to know their position and responsibility.


What specific resources will they need two hit their objective?


This is where the baton gets passed and you let them start on the next 80%of the project.

What You Provide Your Team For The Final 10%


Listen to your people describe what they’ve done, what problems they encountered, and what solutions they came up with.


Ask questions that your consumers might ask. Raise questions that show the team where the holes are in their plan. Questions like, “What will you do if this happens?” This process gives the project integrity because it forces the team to plug any holes in their idea and make it more solid.


This is a fun time, as new thoughts bubble up. Maybe the ideas will actually make the big picture bigger. During the first 10% of the project, we thought about a lot of things. Now, in the last 10%, after actually doing the work, we know a lot of things. There’s a big difference between building on what you think and building on what you know.


Appreciate the team’s excellent effort to show your gratitude and belief in them.


To lead through others, you need to set your people up for success by investing your time on the front end and the back end.


bottom of page