If everyone who says that they’re “in”, showed up, be they a team member, friend, fan, or long-term customer, amazing things would happen. Things would change and progress would be evident.

Managers and leaders spend a lot of time trying to get their staff engaged and contributing. We try new approaches, provide incentives and even rewards. We’ll re-post and re-state with even more passion and fervor. Sometimes we even threaten people to get them to “take action”. Often, we simplify and make things easy – “just click here”. When it comes to engaging customers we instill urgency – “limited time offer” and hope FOMO will kick in. Sometimes it works, usually not. The watchers usually just keep on watching.

My experience as a coach and teacher is that the great majority – 90%, just watch and don’t act.

So, as a leader or manager, who do you focus on and what do you do? I recommend engaging with the 10% that are prepared to act. The faithful few who through their persistent action will have impact over time. That’s how change happens.

The Law of Diffusion of Innovation is a great example of the power of this. If you’re not familiar with the concept, watch this short video of Simon Sinek explaining it.

The watchers will observe until they’re prepared to act and some simply stop watching and go away.

As a leader, focus your resources, energy, and effort on those who are with you. Be grateful for those that show up and make a difference. Show them the love – they deserve it.

You don’t need everyone, just those that are prepared to show up, act, and be on the field playing the game versus those in the stands watching.