The Positive Energy Workplace

Using the 70/30 Rule to Up-Level Your Leadership Impact

Using the 70/30 Rule to Up-Level Your Leadership Impact


My team and I have been working on a couple of big big projects. We’re crafting new programs, a new book, a new online module, and simply basic goodness to support our people in their IEP Journey and leadership.


With new and big projects come many emotions: excitement AND anxiety, clarity AND ambiguity, delight AND frustration, calm space AND overwhelm — you name it, we’ll find it at some point in the creative and team process.


Our team is small and mighty and we’ve found a good flow of how to make things happen so we’re each in our own creative or process genius. That being said, as with life, projects can get messy and communication can get jacked when we’re moving fast.


As the leader of my team, I have my “magic” defaults that support me: lead from intention, love, and intuition; believe fully in every member of my team; service, gratitude, contribution, and impact are my primary food groups; I’m a champion for everyone’s highest good and everyone on the team doing what they LOVE and are BEST at; and our purpose is clear. These defaults serve me well, give me space, and help me hold an expansive state and container as we navigate projects.


This said, as lovely and helpful as the good stuff is, I also have some “ick” defaults that can create resistance and havoc for all of us. Some of these include over-managing/over-functioning, under-managing, avoiding, impatience, and of course trying to control the world. 


Over-managing happens when I am standing too close; under-managing happens when I am standing too far back (and/or, in my own “busy-ness” forget to hold the bigger vision). Avoiding happens when something analytical or complex is going on and I’m hoping it will just work itself out. Impatience and trying to control the world happens when things are not going to plan and/or I have an expectation that is not occurring “right.”


As I’m sure you can imagine, none of these energetic states are helpful or compelling to lead from.


Alas, it’s okay. We have the 70/30 Rule.


Awareness is 70% of the “battle”. The other 30% is decision and action. The fact that we have “ick” defaults in our leadership, coupled with our “magic” sauce, is not a problem. The problem is only if we choose to ignore them or, even better, blame others for them. If we’re willing to own them, embrace them, and learn with them, these “ick” defaults can be gifts that keep us growing and opening up our range for leadership. The opportunity here is not to make ourselves wrong for having “negative” leadership impact or quirks (making ourselves wrong only creates more energetic resistance and “ick”), but rather to pay attention, and then to CHOOSE what to do with it.


What is paying attention? It’s noticing the signals of when we’re going to the “ick” side; noticing the physiological signs (contraction, tension, tightness in the throat, and elevated heart rate); catching ourselves going “dark” and reactive, and instead pausing and breathing into light. It’s about noticing the discomfort of ambiguity, breathing, choosing that pause again, and accessing gratitude and curiosity (in any way possible). And finally, it’s about continuing to learn, reboot, reframe, and grow our skills and way of being as we go so we can lead better and create more impact.


The decision and action. What this means is that the moment I catch myself going to a dark side default (I’ve come to identify these first in my body, there’s a physiological shift I feel that cues me, as if to say “danger danger!”), I breathe and create a bit of space between myself and whatever external (and internal) issue is unfolding. With that awareness comes power and I can decide what my next breath, thought, moment, and state of energetic presence will hold. The magic is in the awareness. The leadership and up-leveling in our way of being is in the choices we make, the grace we give (for ourselves and others), and the actions we take.


Make it Real: Here are a few inquires to set this in place.

  1. What are your “magic” defaults that help you and your energy thrive and flow in leadership? Lean into them.
  2. What are your “ick defaults that hinder and contract you and your energy in leadership? Get curious about them.
  3. What are your physical cues when in “flow” or “ick”?
  4. What’s ONE practice to support one of each?
  5. Bonus question: What is the internal story you tell yourself that creates magic or ick in your system?


One step at a time, be kind, lead.


Read an excerpt, grab a copy or learn more about my latest book, The Leader You Will Be: An Invitation, here.





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