The 95/5 Rule – Leadership Refined

In my first leadership article, “Born to Follow – Inspired to Lead” I mentioned that we will talk about the “95 – 5 Rule.”  First I would like to single out a very valuable tidbit of information that was discussed briefly in the comment section of my last post.

Jeremy Drapal wrote “To me leadership is not about me getting results but it is all about helping others to get the results they desire.”  Jeremy touched on another one of John Maxwell’s 21 Laws of Leadership, The Law of Addition.

“The bottom line in leadership isn’t how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others.  That is achieved by serving others and adding value to their lives.” – John Maxwell

To be a truly great leader you MUST if you haven’t already adapt this law into everything you do.  If you are in business just to make money then get out now.  If you are in business to add value in the lives of others then stick around because you WILL make this world a better place and I am honoured and humbled that you are taking the time to read my articles and I hope that they will provide great value to you, your business, and your relationships in the coming weeks, months, and years ahead.

Judging from the responses that I’ve received from my previous two articles on Leadership, it is clearly a topic that is fascinating for so many people.  It is a topic that I will revisit again to be sure but for now I like to limit any series that I write to around three articles and then move on to another topic or something else that will benefit my readers.  That said, this will be the final article (for now,) in this series on Leadership.

The 95 – 5 Rule

O.k., for those of you who haven’t heard of the 95 – 5 Rule, it is in fact two fold.

Let’s say that you have built a team of 100 people in your organization, congratulations, that’s awesome.  You spend many hours with your team helping them to grow their business.  Sending emails, talking on the phone, connecting with them through social media.  You notice though that out of those 100 people who you try to communicate with on a weekly basis 95 percent of the emails go unanswered, you get an answering machine instead of an excited business partner, and the only status message you see on their profile page on Facebook is “I’m having dinner now yum yum!”  (Lol, you laugh because it’s true right?)

The other 5 percent always respond to your emails, usually the same day.  They call you on the phone asking for assistance, instead of you calling them with your offering.  They are active in social media and will participate with their friends, readers, fans in a timely and professional manner.

Who do you think that you should be spending the most time with?  The 95 percent of your team that makes no visible effort to grow their business or the 5 percent of your team that shows you consistent effort through traceable action?

If you choose the 5 percent then you understand the first part of the 95 – 5 Rule!

The second part of the 95 – 5 Rule is this;  How much time should you be spending with each group?  Drum Roll Please …..

Spend 95 percent of your time with the 5 percent of your team which deserve it the most!  The other 5 percent of your time can be spent on the rest of your team.  Try to use this time to dig further into your team to see if there may be some who will one day become more serious and take on a more active role in their business.

Just by understanding this 95 – 5 rule doesn’t mean that it’s easy to follow does it.

When you have someone enter into your business you really do want them to succeed don’t you.  Helping others makes you feel good.  However the larger your organization grows the harder it will be to give personal attention to those who will benefit from it the most … Other Leaders!

There are three stages of the leadership development process … Which stage do you currently find yourself?

Stage 1:  Developing Yourself (Ongoing)
Stage 2:  Developing Your Team
Stage 3:  Developing Leaders

Let’s take a quick look at the 5 main differences between attracting followers and developing leaders as can be found in Mr. Maxwell’s best selling “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.”

John MaxwellLeaders who attract followers … need to be needed
Leaders who develop leaders … want to be Succeeded

Leaders who attract followers … develop the bottom 95 percent  (Remember the 95 – 5 Rule!)
Leaders who develop leaders … develop the top 5 percent

Leaders who attract followers … focus on weakness
Leaders who develop leaders … focus on strengths

Leaders who attract followers … treat everyone the same
Leaders who develop leaders … treat individuals differently

Leaders who attract followers … grow by addition
Leaders who develop leaders … Grow by multiplication

By now the 95 – 5 Rule should be pretty clear to you, and although you may want to see everyone on your team succeed, you understand that you must spend 95 percent of your time developing your leaders and only 5 percent of your time developing your followers.Jack Layton

O.k., I don’t want this to turn into some political debate, but I would like to give mention out of respect to one of Canada’s great leaders who last Monday passed away at the age of 61 after a battle with cancer.  If you’re Canadian then you already know to whom I’m referring.  If not then you will still benefit from watching a little testimonial into the life of Jack Layton, the leader of the official opposition party of Canada’s federal government.

Jack Layton – 1950 – 2011 May He Rest In Peace

I hope that you enjoyed this final article in my series on Leadership and Hope that you will be able to use this information to grow your own business in some way.  I would really appreciate it if you would share this article with your family, friends, and business partners by clicking on any of the “like” or “share” buttons around this article.  Please comment on your thoughts on leadership, and what it means to you.

11 Responses to “The 95/5 Rule – Leadership Refined”

  1. Great post, Kevin! You are so right about that 95-5 ratio. It’s like Jim Rohn said: you can’t go chasing birds. Sadly, there are times when it feels like that ratio is even lower than 5%, but my policy is that if someone gives me his/her word that he/she will return a call or come to a meeting at a certain time, and doesn’t have the decency to do so, that’s not the kind of person I would want in my business, anyway.
    Steve Nicholas recently posted..Checking Your PaceMy Profile

  2. Angela says:

    Hi Kevin! I love this article. It makes total sense to help the 5% who are putting in an effort. I am going to have to check out that book as well. Thank you for sharing this!
    Angela recently posted..Why You Need To Cheat If You Are a Home Business OwnerMy Profile

  3. Rob Wilson says:

    Hi Kevin, I hadn't heard of the rule being expressed quite like that. I've heard of other ratios, but this post was really interesting because it rang so true. Your own motivation and how you spend your time is so important. I've been working on identifying which areas of my time are the most effective and as I shift more emphasis to the more beneficial areas, my success increases. I am going to do this more with people – identify that 5%, which shouldn't be too hard and focus on them more. Thanks very much! – Rob

  4. Hi Kevin,

    Great article on leadership!
    That book sounds like an excellent read. Adding value and helping others is what business is all about… and you have certainly done that here :)

    Thanks for sharing!
    Kevin Schmidt recently posted..The Controversial Article Spinning and Distribution TechniqueMy Profile

    • Kevin DeRoo says:

      Hey Kevin,

      Thanks for visiting my blog today and for adding your comment, that’s awesome!

      Yes John’s book is an excellent read and I recommend it highly to all those who wish to serve in leadership. You’re spot on when you say that adding value and helping others is what this business is all about. What a great industry to be in and at a time in history where there has never been a greater need to take control over ones own future.

      Again Kevin thanks so much for your comment and I hope that you will return real soon.


  5. Hi Kevin,

    Excellent series on leadership.

    Some uplines do not seem to understand this principle.
    I was always told that 5% of your organization will produce 95% of your volume…and instead of chasing a “dead horse” go out and look for another 5%er.

    I love helping people achieve the success they want. I used to try too hard to help them as a result it turns people away.

    Thanks for sharing this series with us.


    Bryan McHeyzer recently posted..A-Professor-or-FriendMy Profile

    • Kevin DeRoo says:

      Hey Bryan,

      Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, it’s great to have you back!

      I hear you when you say that you used to try too hard to help people that you turned some away. That’s why this 95/5 Rule is so important. When you keep this rule in the back of your mind you will only need to help those people who truly desire it and will benefit from your leadership.

      Thanks for your comment Bryan, hope to see you back again soon.


  6. Hey Kevin,
    Very interesting post. I found that some of the statements on leadership are true when looking for a leader. Too many people call themselves leaders when they really aren’t. Finding a true leader and becoming one yourself takes time and a big commitment to change. I will definitely read Maxwell’s books.
    Thanks for the introductions to his work.
    Joyce Edwards recently posted..News Flash! It’s OK to be Obese!My Profile

  7. Loren Greig says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I really enjoy reading and learning from your articles! Thanks for sharing your knowledge about how true leadership is first and foremost about guiding others to attaining their goals and dreams. John Maxwell’s quote states well how we must serve others… “The bottom line in leadership isn’t how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others. That is achieved by serving others and adding value to their lives.” It is very satisfying to know that we have assisted others along their path to success and I cannot think of a better industry to apply that principle to than the one we are in!

    Very sensitive feelings over the passing of Jack Layton is quite prominent across our land as through his true leadership, honesty and integrity he earned great respect and love from Canadians. He truly was a perfect model of Leadership.
    Loren Greig recently posted..Anchor Text For SEOMy Profile

    • Kevin DeRoo says:

      Hey Loren,

      Thanks so much for those kind works, I really do appreciate that very much.

      I like what you said about the principle of servant leadership. “I cannot think of a better industry to apply that principle to than the one we are in!”

      That’s so true Loren, we are in the perfect industry to fine tune our leadership skills while helping others who follow in our path until they are able to create a path of their own.

      Thanks so much for returning to my blog and I invite you to come back again soon.


  8. Theuns says:

    Hi Kevin

    Thank’s for a great blog.

    It all make a lot of sens to me , how many time do we spend way to much time with people that just join and
    do not give the runners in your team the attension that they need.

    You just give me a new inspiration for my new team that is on it way in my new business.

    Best Regards
    Theuns recently posted..Why you need to smile: The Hidden law in the law off attractionMy Profile

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