pareto-principle

The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch And My Thoughts

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This is the third book in the series Learning Together and Leading Together where we are going through the Personal MBA plan curated by Josh Kaufman.

Josh has been kind enough to write a review of this book and breaks down the book into 10 points. Here are the points:

  1. A minority of inputs lead to a majority of outputs.
  2. A minority of causes create a majority of effects.
  3. A minority of efforts lead to a majority of results.
  4. There are many names for this common phenomenon: The 80/20 Principle, Pareto’s Law, Zipf’s Principle of Least Effort, Juran’s Law of the Vital Few
  5. The Critical Few – identify and build upon the 20% of efforts that produce 80% of the results.
  6. Most of what we do is low value – eliminate or reduce the 80% of efforts that produce poor results.
  7. In business, focus on the products and customer that make you the most money, and minimize or eliminate the rest.
  8. In life, focus on the activities that produce the majority of life satisfaction.
  9. A minority of decisions will produce the majority of your results: choice of work, debts, investments, relationships.
  10. More effort does not equal more reward – focus only on what is crucial, and ignore the rest.

Josh has many more thoughts that go between these points and he explains them further in his summary. I recommend that you read his summary and not just these points.

My thoughts:

First off I believe that this book makes a point that we all comprehend. Very few people would be shocked by the 80/20 principle. In fact this principle is quoted in many different ways across many different sectors. Putting this principle into practice though is much harder.

It’s hard to make a decision that you know will make some people disappointed, upset, or look at you in a light that is not favorable. The idea of letting bad things happen and knowing it is not in our nature. The idea here though is that if you put this principle into practice then you are willing to do just that.

The other hard really hard idea in this book goes against everything I was taught growing up. That idea is that the harder I work the more I will be rewarded or better yet the more I will succeed. My favorite quote from Josh Kaufman’s summary is this:

“You can spend 50 years digging a pit in the Sahara desert, and no one will care a bit. Spend those 50 years doing something like curing cancer, and EVERYONE will care.”

At face value this book is not that challenging. It is very agreeable. You know, until you try to put it into practice. That is what I encourage you to do today. I encourage you to decide to lean into your best and let your less that perfect be okay. I encourage you to value the opinion of a few then the ones who are the loudest. I encourage you to realize that effort doesn’t equate to success but that you should find something to do that is more valuable than anything you could imagine.

What are your thoughts? Do you find this book challenging?

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