Welcome to the Summer Camp Leadership blog. For those of us who lead summer camps, making a positive difference in the lives of young people is our passion. Turning that passion into a reality, however, takes more than the ability to lead songs, teach archery or plan craft projects. Creating camp experiences that truly transform lives takes leadership. Leadership that creates a vision for the future, leadership that inspires and engages others, leadership that remains focused and stays the course. My hope is through this blog you'll find ideas, inspiration and tools to help you be a great summer camp leader.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Law of the Vital Few

The Pareto Principle says that 80% of our results come from 20% of our activities. The principle, also known as 80/20 rule or "the law of the vital few" has proven remarkably accurate since economist Vilfredo Pareto first identified it in 1896.

As a leader 80% of our impact comes from a "vital few" 20% of our interactions with our staff.  The same goes for our interactions with campers. There are those few moments when what we do makes a big difference.

Stephen Covey in his book 7 Habits of Highly Successful People suggests we need to focus on "putting first things first."  These are the 20% activities that have significant leverage in impacting those we lead and our organizations. They are the "Not Urgent But Important" tasks that Covey suggests are critical to being effective as a leader. 

How do we identify these critical activities that lead to big results?  Covey suggests the following types of activities are the "vital few" that offer a high payoff for the investment of our time.

  • Planning
  • Prevention 
  • Relationship building
  • Recognizing new opportunities
  • Planning 
  • Personal rest & recreation 
According to Covey, investing in these types of activities results in vision, perspective, balance, control and few crises.