Vilfredo Pareto presumably never studied the time element in a negotiation, yet the Pareto principle reveals the incredible pressure that time can put on a negotiation. Pareto was an economist in the 19th century. Born in Paris, he spent most of his life in Italy, where he studied the balance of wealth as it was distributed among the populace. In his book, Cours d’Economie Politique, he pointed out that 80 percent of the wealth was concentrated in the hands of 20 percent of the people.
The interesting thing about the 80/20 rule is that it surfaces repeatedly in apparently unrelated fields. Sales managers tell me that 80 percent of their business is done by 20 percent of the salespeople. Eventually, it occurs to them that ...