Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist. He looked around his society, and got really upset by something he observed. Walking around Florence he noticed that a lot of stuff was owned by a few people. So he stopped into his local council to check out the files, and to his astonishment he discovered that 80% of the land and buildings were held by 20% of the population. Darn it he thought – I wonder if that’s true for the businesses in this economy? And so it was. Indeed he went on to publish a paper about income distribution – and you guessed it 20% earned 80% again. You’ve no doubt heard of the 80/20 principle (the so called Pareto principle). Vilfredo has no idea he was starting a social movement – or coining a meme!
I work with executives, board members, busy mums, stressed out teenagers and members of the military. They all want to know how to get more out of life – how to get more bang for their buck. I reckon the Pareto Principle is a killer. Here are a few ways I use it in daily life:
1. 20% of the recipes in my collection are enjoyed by 80% of my family and guests. I keep a short list of the best, filed by rating system.
2. 80% of my income comes from 20% of my clients – so I follow who they are and multiply them. The inverse is also true, so I try to fire the bottom 20% as well (these are usually the complainers).
3. 80% of my sales come from 20% of my sales activity – the less fruitful something is, the less often I am likely to repeat it. I put the most fruitful stuff at the start of my day – when I’m high energy.
4. 20% of the people in the field I take interest in will contribute 80% of the best stuff (photography, comments on videos, articles, blogs) so I hunt for the social influencers, and learn from them.
5. 80% of my parenting interventions are useless, and I would save a lot of hassle by staying silent and watching until I can deliver the fruitful 20% big bangs.
I could go on by why bother. You’ve got my best 20%!
Robert is an expert in the science of human behaviour and performance enhancement with a passion for neurology, leadership and the psychology of potential. He believes it is important to bring hard science to coaching, and that coaching practices be evidence based and research backed. Robert is a founding partner at Frazer, Holmes Coaching and current Director of Brand and Marketing for the International Coach Federation Australasia (ICFA). Robert is a professionally certified coach (PCC) with over 20 years of business experience and an ICF Accredited Mentor Coach. He is an Associate at the National Speaker's Association, a member of the Coaching Psychology interest group at the APS, a certified Action Learning Coach, a Member of the Australian Institute of Management Consultants.