by Les Taylor (used with permission)
Editor’s note: In my writing WordShops, I emphasize tapping into the power of 3. My colleague Les Taylor explains the research behind that power.
A few years ago I started looking into Minimalism. I have always been attracted to doing more with less – getting more with less – and just simplifying in general. It’s a pursuit of mine that continues today.
Along the way I looked into simplifying as a business model – especially as it relates to performance improvement and professional development. If you’ve read my book Stop Walking in Circles: Get Out of the Wilderness of the Status Quo, you’re familiar with my three-step process for creating an Outperformers Action Plan.
I’ve proven to myself and others the value of the long-standing theory of the “Power of Three.” This theory was espoused two hundred years ago by Thomas Jefferson (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) and has continued to be a formula for success to this day.
Steve Jobs was a true believer in the power of three. He used this model in every one of his famous product launch events. In 2010, Jobs introduced the first iPad as a “third device” between a smartphone and a laptop. The iPad, he told the audience, would also come in “three models”: 16, 32, and 64 GB of flash storage. In 2011, Jobs introduced the iPad 2 as “thinner, lighter, and faster” than the original.
So, what does the power of three have to do with you and why should you care about this phenomenal model? Research, going back to the mid-1950s at Bell Labs, has proven that limiting the number of things to remember enhances retention. This research resulted in the basic structure of phone numbers.
When someone leaves a phone number on a voice message, you’re more likely to recall the first three digits before having to listen to the message again for the remainder of the number.
I believe that limiting areas of focus to three (e.g., See Clearly – Focus Intently – Work Wisely) will greatly enhance your performance and productivity. The rule of three, like the 80/20 rule, is everywhere when you look for it. An effective presentation is divided into three parts. Looking for a new job? Give your prospective employer three reasons to hire you. Want to improve your golf game? Focus on driving, wedge play, and putting.
Spend some time this week considering how you can use the (incredible) power of three to enhance your performance, your productivity or your professional development. It will be time well spent indeed.
Les Taylor is a business owner, executive coach, award-winning author and professional speaker. He is the founder of Outperformers International, a professional development company committed to helping individuals and organizations radically increase their “performance capacity.” He can be reached at 602-478-4209 or firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you tap into the power of 3 in your world? Share your comments here.