The last ten percent

Photo by thomas pix


A few weeks ago Seth Godin wrote about the last ten percent. The part of the work that is the hardest to do but makes all the difference. The change from standard to excellent. The change from ordinary to extraordinary.

The last ten percent is the signal we look for, the way we communicate care and expertise and professionalism. If all you’re doing is the standard amount, all you’re going to get is the standard compensation. The hard part is the last ten percent, sure, or even the last one percent, but it’s the hard part because everyone is busy doing the easy part already.

As I see it, a few question come out of this type of thinking:

  1. Do you know how to recognize the difference between the standard and the last ten percent in what you do? Do you know what the little things that make a difference are?
  2. Answer honestly now: in how much of your work do you put the effort of the last ten percent?
  3. If you don’t, do you ask yourself why?
  4. If you can’t because it’s hard or you don’t know how, what are you doing about it?
  5. If you can’t because you are not the right person to for it, do you make sure to find the right people to collaborate with in order to take care of last ten percent?

My bottom line take: find the one place you feel comfortable doing the last ten percent and focus your attention on it.


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