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The 10/10/80 Rule: Letting Go Of What You Can’t Control

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by Clay Clark


We’ve all heard the importance of only focusing on things we can control. Let’s take a moment to marinate on this advice within the context of running effective business meetings.


 effective business meetings


In order for you and I to experience any real significant improvement in this area, we must remember the 10/10/80 Focus Rule. Who came up with this rule? I did, and it works, so I am fairly happy about it.


The clients I have worked with over the years who have taken this rule to heart and been intense about implementing it have told me that it has helped them to successfully change their entire workplace culture. So without any further ado, I give you the 10/10/80 Rule.


The 10/10/80 Rule For Effective Business Meetings

1. Spend 10% of your meeting time discussing problems.

In one business I worked with, their web development lady loved to spend 50% of every meeting talking about how bad the economy was and is and always will be.


After she spoke about the bad economy for a good two to three minutes, I politely asked her, “We all recognize that the economy is tough for some people, however do you think it’s possible for us to fix the economy?” After a little nervous tension was exchanged from her eyes to mine, she conceded that there was no possible way for us to fix the economy and thus, we moved on.


2. Spend 10% of your meeting time deciding whether or not each problem is worth fixing.

During this same meeting, a young man brought up how much he disliked the storage area in which he worked. He said the lighting was bad and the space wasn’t very inspiring.


I then asked him, “Do you think that it is possible for us to make the storage area better?” He replied, “Yes I think it is.” I then asked, “Suppose that we do fix the storage area, will it improve the experience for the customer or improve our profitability?” Again there was a nervous tension in the room, and then we moved on.


3. Spend 80% of your meeting time discussing possible solutions to the problems that are worth fixing.

We then spent the next 30 minutes focusing on things that we could control like the images on our website, our search engine rank, and the phone scripts we were using to answer the phones.


My friend, it is very hard to get anything done if we spend the vast majority of our time focusing on solving problems that don’t need to be solved and discussing things that we cannot control.


Commit now to only focus on discussing problems that can be solved and that are worth solving.


“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”

Brian Tracy, entrepreneur and bestselling author



RELATED: 14 Business Laws Every Entrepreneur Must Know


Clay Clark

Clay Clark is the Founder of, offering online education for entrepreneurs taught by millionaires, moguls and every day business success stories. Clark was “Oklahoma’s Small Business Administration Entrepreneur” of the Year,” the “Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur of the Year,” the author of four books and a business partner of NBA Hall of Fame basketball player, David Robinson.


Photo Credits

Jeroen van Oostrom | | Courtesy of Clay Clark

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