One of my great loves is economics. In an inspiring meeting yesterday with our CEO Tomas Gorny, I was amused when he quoted the 80/20 rule. Great people throughout history always have a way of finding a place into our meetings. Their ideas and discoveries guide us, though they are long gone. We truly do stand on the shoulders of giants.
The Pareto principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Romanian-American management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.
Vilfredo Pareto, born in 1848, was an Italian engineer, sociologist, economist, political scientist, and philosopher. He is known for the introduction of income distribution in economics and the analysis of individuals’ choices, as well as coining the term “elite” when referring to a social class.
He did not begin serious work in economics until his mid-forties. And had actually started his career as fiery advocate of classical liberalism, besetting the most ardent British liberals with his attacks on any form of government intervention in the free market.
Later that day I found myself sitting in the presence of my mentor VJ, who is a prolific psychologist I have come to admire and look to as an authority on all matters of my life. We discussed my week and interestingly enough, he quoted the same 80/20 principle as we touched on the productivity level of the population “20% of people are doing 80% of the work.”
This time I laughed out loud as I recounted the many hours spent practicing juggling on the balance board, flying the office drone in the parking lot, and the (3) hour lunches with the Rockford team I was lucky enough to be a part of.