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General Management

What is the 18%?

The 18%

You may have noticed a phrase floating around my website. It’s a phrase that has a lot of meaning packed into two words; The phrase is “The 18%.” So what do I mean by this 18% and who/what is this 18%? The answer may actually surprise you, it may even stun you… “The 18%” is the number of managers in the United States that are the appropriate (not necessarily the best) candidate for their position. That’s right, you read that correctly, according to Gallup, 82% of managers in the United States were not the right candidate for the job. 

Are You in the 18%

So now you are thinking, whoa 82% is a lot, but I know I’m in the 18%. I challenge you to honestly reflect on yourself and think “am I really in the 18%?” Thinking of the 18% another way, it is same as saying that 1.8 out of every 10 managers fall into the group. If you are sitting in a room of 10 of your peers are you really in that 18%?

5 Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine if You are in 18%:

  1. Do I actively motivate my team to take action, with most of this action being self-starting by my team members?
  2. Do I assert myself when necessary in a way my team respects and does not resist?
  3. Do I set clear accountability metrics/goals for myself and my team?
  4. Do I actively work to build trust and offer open transparency with my team?
  5. Do I make decisions based on team/business productivity not politics (who I like best, who has waited in line the longest, etc.)?

After reading that set of questions, I would like you to complete a self-assessment, and really think about “am I in the 18%?” If you answered ‘Yes’ to all 5 questions, congratulations, you are in the top 0.01% of all managers, as very few managers are able to do all 5 successfully. Most 18 percenters exhibit 3-4, but not all. If you find yourself answering no to all of the questions, or to all but one, don’t worry you are not doomed to fail! While there are those that naturally born with the talent of the 18%, you can learn to behave and act like the 18%.

The 18%, those who already have the proper talent or behavior for their management position, the 82%, everyone else. Are you in the 18% or the 82%? Are you ready to join the 18%?

Are you ready to join the 18%? Follow my blog to begin your journey and if you are looking for even more 18 percenter knowledge, check out The Harvard Business Review Manager’s Handbook: The 17 Skills Leaders Need to Stand Out (HBR Handbooks)