Book review: The 80/20 Manager

Emma De Vita reviews the book by Richard Koch

The 80/20 Manager, by Richard Koch
The 80/20 Manager, by Richard Koch

If you're in the know, then Richard Koch - entrepreneur, investor and author - is someone whose books you want to read. He is the author of The 80/20 Principle, published 15 years ago, which explained that 80 per cent of results come from just 20 per cent of effort. He has now turned his attention to applying this rule to the work - and overloading - that managers face.

Koch wants you to simplify your work and your life, and the way he suggests you do it is to work less hard but more effectively. Essentially, it's about determining which are the most important elements of your work (and those that have the biggest impact on you and your organisation) and focusing your attention on getting these things done.

Koch lists 10 ways to be an 80/20 manager in the form of a menu from which you can choose, rather than a checklist of skills that you must master. "Being brilliant at one of the 10 ways will take you an awful lot further than being competent at all 10," he writes.

The 10 ways range from being the "investigating manager" or the "superconnecting manager", to the "lazy manager" or the "strategic manager". No doubt there will be more takers for the lazy manager than any of the other sorts.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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