Paretto Principle at Work: Few Good Men (Part 2)


Read the first part of this work place related series, here.

Last time around I wrote about 80% of the employees contributing towards 20% all work done in the office. Lets switch sides and look through the eyes of people who are core / backbone of an organization, people who are responsible for exponential growth and everyone’s salary. These people represent the ’20’ in the paretto’s 80:20 principle.

The Tyrants – My way or high way: We just gotta have one of them in each department / function. Their terror is such that even news of them coming makes everyone return to their respective workstations and appear so engrossed in their work as if this time during performance appraisals, the normal curve will have the maximum concentration in one side of the curve. Sound proofing should be mandatory in their rooms as the walls / glass panels simply fail to keep their profuse shouting / disagreements inside those very 4 walls. They are seldom good with their sub-ordinates, appear cold to the peers and extremely warm to the superiors. The most common types of employees that fall under this category are bosses / managers and ‘the Suits’ sent from the corporate office.

Why they feature in the 20%?: Ability to delegate, de-motivate (to motivate), no non-sense attitude and obsession with reaching an outcome.

The Ants – Have work, will doA quick way to spot them is to stand at your workstation during lunch, glance in all directions – this category workers are often found gobbling lunch in quick bytes with their eyes fixated in the files / on computer. After all, lunch hour is too much of a distraction for them to finish the given assignment in time.  This category is the first to reach and amongst the last to leave office. Almost always, they are found right on their workstation, tirelessly working to finish pending tasks. This is not because they are inefficient or imbeciles, its because they can’t say no and often take more work than they have bandwidth available. If a survey was done on social skills, these people will feature right at the bottom as they find it hard justify time spent on otherwise fun activities like tea / coffee / smoke breaks, chit-chat sessions, going out for lunch etc. Though looked down upon through out the year (even scoffed at), they become cynosure or enviable creature at a particular period of time in the year – announcement of performance  appraisal outcome. Most individual contributors constitute this category.

Why they feature in the 20%?: Never say no to more work, focussed approach and generally hard-working-salary-justifying attitude

The Problem Solvers – Consider it DoneBorn optimistic, these workers are often the most creative,  innovative, progressive bunch who have only aim in life – to solve the problem at hand. Present any sort of difficult problem, issue or show-stoppers to them and they will find their way out. These are the ones who kept their head above the corporate rut, messy politics, sycophancy and the 9-to-5 corporate life paradigm. Smart organizations nurture the problem solvers by keeping them on short term projects and rotate them between the departments / functions so that they don’t get corrupt and become another brick in the wall. They often claim most of the corporate awards on offer in a given year, and rightly so.

Why they feature in the 20%?: Innovative / outsider’s approach to problems, highly analytical mind, very high awareness of the organization’s business / industry and speed.

The Superstars – I know my way to the Top:  What happens when you combine all the three above? You get a superstar who will take the organization to newer heights. The superstar is usually a senior / mid-senior executive, wields so much enthusiasm and energy that people who work along get painted in the same color as him / her. Superstars always give more than 100% at work and in process, motivate and inspire co-workers to give nothing-less-than-the-best. They also have an uncanny ability to take decisions on gut-feel that almost all times, hits the bulls – eye. Cynosure of the head – hunters, an organization does all it can to keep the employee on their rolls, and the superstars justify by adding value with each moment they stay in the organization.

Why they feature in the 20%: All thinkable reasons possible!!

What’ll be your addition to this list? Share with me through your comments!

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3 thoughts on “Paretto Principle at Work: Few Good Men (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: Pareto Principle at Work: A Few Good Men (Part 1)… | My Turf…

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