We’ve been told since childhood to “Give 110%.” We’ve probably all experienced how hard that is to achieve and then maintain.
What if we dial it back to a more realistic 85%?
Corporate leaders and coaches are now promoting the idea that striving for 85% effort leads to better & more consistent results.
According to experts, pushing for 110% largely leads to burnout and anxiety. Current findings are that leaders who aim for ‘Sustainable Excellence’ will build a team of consistently high performers.
Welcome to the 85% club, where common sense creates success.
The concept of giving 110% is deeply ingrained in American work culture. The measure of hard work for generations has been getting to the office before your boss and leaving after they do.
It’s the idea that success requires you to push yourself to the limit, burning the midnight oil, and sacrificing in the relentless pursuit of your goals.
This philosophy has evolved over time into an often, unhealthy obsession with work, leading to stress, stress, and more stress and a diminished quality of life.
This ‘hustle culture’ approach has given rise to a cult of overscheduled busyness. Meaning looking busy but maybe not actually being productive.
As Arianna Huffington describes it in Thrive, “we think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.”
In her ever-relevant book, she takes us on a world tour of countries that seem to have cracked the code of success without the demand of an insane amount of work hours.
Countries like Denmark and the Netherlands have a reduced number of hours (often 35) in their work week and a focus on a balance of work and home life.
They’ve become the new standard of successful work across the globe and are consistently shown to outperform other countries in productivity according to Huffington.
More American businesses are adopting some version of the 85% rule as well.
Why should CEOs and leaders ardently advocate for this balance? The answer is simple—it works.
Productivity and results will follow.
It’s about focused work, not overwork.
Teams can maintain personal well-being and positive mental health while pursuing important business ambitions.
Embracing sustainable excellence is the true path to success.
So, the next time someone tells you to give 110%, take a moment to reflect on whether you’d be better off giving 85%… sometimes less really is more.