‘Is this one of the smallest McDonalds there is?’ asked my wife Sam.

We were in McDonalds at Monks Cross, York having just arrived back in York after a long drive. Our three younger boys were with us and Luke, the eldest of the three looked round and agreed that it was probably the smallest McDonalds he’s ever been to.

It was 5.30pm on a Friday. Every table was taken and people were queueing. I wondered how many were hoping to eat in but wouldn’t find anywhere to sit. And how many might, as a result, be less likely to return. And how much potential revenue would be lost.

I then, in very simple terms, shared the 80% Capacity rule with the boys. I said that there’s a general principle that when a facility gets to 80% capacity and you want to keep growing, then it’s time to make some changes and plan for expansion, otherwise the growth will slow or stop. So when the seating is 80% full, it’s normally time to increase capacity. Luke then perceptively asked about St Michael le Belfrey Church (where I’m Vicar) and whether we were 80% full. I replied that none of our five congregations (services) were presently 80% full at the moment but we would look to plant more when any got to around 80% – assuming we had a good leader to lead the new venture. That’s how we accommodate growth.

This 80% rule is a good general of thumb and can be applied to many areas of life and leadership.

As you go about your day today, be attentive to things round you that are growing. Have they reached 80% or more capacity? If so, and you want to see that growth continue, change will probably be required.