What is the 70-20-10 Leadership Model?

Developing Leadership Ability

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA]

We have written about leadership and management before on this ME-P. It is an important and very popular topic; not only in healthcare but in most all industries today.

According to the Center for Creative Leadership there is a model for learning and development that blends experience, relationships and training.

It is referred to as the 70-20-10 model, where approximately:

  • 70% of learning is provided through the use of challenging assignments and on-the-job experiences.
  • 20% of learning is developed through relationships, networks, and feedback.
  • 10% of the learning is delivered via formal training processes.

So, does your medical office, clinic, hospital or healthcare organization put most of its leadership development resources into training?

Is this akin to the medical teaching adage: “See one – Do one – Teach One“?


Sometimes it’s easier to purchase external vendor training rather than develop the internal infrastructure to support business succession planning with stretch and / or rotational assignments, coaching, mentoring, and action learning.  The weaker this internal support infrastructure, the more important the formal training will be, but it can’t be a close substitute for the lessons learned on the job and through feedback from peers, bosses and mentors.


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2 Responses

  1. My Personal Leadership Style

    Leadership spans the spectrum of command control [top-down] to bottom-up [collaborative and shared decision making] styles. My personal style depends on the situation.

    For example, if I have deep subject matter expertise, the tendency is toward a top-down approach. If I am less insightful, a collaborative style is more useful. But, if largely uninformed, my philosophy is to assemble the best available folks possible for the team; explain mission, goals and objectives, and provide the time, talent and treasure to get the job done. I then stand back out-of-their way and proclaim “make me proud of you”!

    Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA


  2. All Companies Should Live by the Jeff Bezos 70 Percent Rule

    A guide to making business decisions—even without all the information—inspired by the Amazon.

    Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA


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