The 7.8% Mistake

Закладки трамадол вАниве Хуа-Хин купить ускоритель Today I want to tell you about the 7.8% mistake.

Способ получения ледяной уксусной кислоты It wasn’t until I was about 40 years old that I came to learn that pickles are made, not grown. Can you believe that? 40 years.

I never really thought about it. Out of all the facts on the planet that have whizzed past me over the decades, this is one that just kept flying by. Pickles are just cucumbers. Duh.

I’ve discovered I’m not alone in this kind of thing; you’re right here with me. There are facts you’ve missed that have been right in front of you, too. The upsetting thing, though, is that some of facts I’m talking about are much more important than facts about pickles. These facts, my friend, are about you.

You will remember Socrates’ most famous quote, “Know thyself.” Now you might figure that after a few of decades-worth of revolutions around the sun, you’d have a pretty good idea of who you are, your skills, abilities and gifts. In my many years of working with people, I discovered you’re probably missing a few facts. There’s more than just a very good chance that you have lots to learn about you. In fact, I’d say it’s pretty much a guarantee.

And that’s the 7.8% mistake.

Gallup, the well-known news, research and polling organization has much to say about well-being and productivity.  One point stood out in a recent study: “…employees who simply learn their own strengths are 7.8% more productive.” Not much you say? How about a 7.8% increase on the return on your personal financial investments? How about weight gain or loss? Now imagine how much of an impact a 7.8% increase in productivity would have within an organization. A $50,000 employee suddenly creates another $4,000 in productivity, simply because she became aware of her strengths? Astounding!

Ah, if only my deodorant would work as well.

The data tell me two things. The first is the obvious fact noted above. The other is not quite as obvious: people don’t know their own strengths. You probably don’t know yours.

What could happen within an organization in which people not only became aware of their strengths, but also were given the freedom to employ them? What amount of employee engagement might be found? What kind of volcanic productivity?

These questions aren’t hypothetical. They are not rhetorical. They have real answers, and the simple way to find them is to start with yourself. Give yourself a 7.8% kick in the pants. Pick up StrengthsFinder 2.0, a wonderful book by Tom Rath to get yourself started. Then get to work on everyone you know.

So here’s one fact you haven’t missed: you need to get to know yourself better. It is much preferable to never knowing. This advice has helped me to discover, not to remain in, a pickle.


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2 Responses to The 7.8% Mistake

  1. Dave Nelsen says:


    Amazingly timely article. Just last Thursday, I discovered my own StrengthsFinder results (and not just the top 5 – I paid to see the entire ranking of all 38). My next move was to arrange for my wife and two boys (18 & 22) to discover theirs. Next up: My employees. We’ll all be happier (and far more successful) if we play to our strengths.

    • Jeffrey Tobin says:

      David, thanks for your post. I’ll be pleased to hear of your continued successes as a result of your investment in everyone.

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