The Other 90 percent

Rather like Richard Koch’s ‘The 80/20 Principle’, ‘The Other 90% - How to unlock your vast untapped potential for leadership and life’ by Robert K Cooper is a book well worth rereading every couple of years. It will remind you of things you should be investing your time on, things you should be spending less time on and some of the disciplines that will help you achieve far more in all aspects of your life.

The author points out that we tend to get caught up on the surface of things struggling along by habit or expending lots of time and effort trying to produce some small gain. As his grandfather asked him, “What about the other 90%?”

He explains that a powerful part of our brain, the amygdala, wants the world to run on routine, not change. It craves control and safety, which at times can be vital, and probably kept people alive a few thousand years ago. But aeons later it still tends to influence every aspect of our lives and promotes a perpetual reluctance to embrace anything that involves risk, change or growth.

He urges you to use your brains, all three of them – your head, your heart and your gut.

This book is rather in the style of Steven Coveys, ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ based on solid research by a leader in this field and written with a ‘how to’ emphasis. What I particularly like about it is the tool kit of simple exercises sprinkled throughout the book.

‘The Other 90%’ was published back in 2001 but has lost none of its relevance for today’s challenges.

Jurek Leon is a storyteller, trainer and coach who presents courses and addresses seminars on word of mouth marketing, motivation, customer focussed selling and managing the customer experience. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly ‘Terrific Tips’ e-newsletter at Alternatively, email

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Jurek Leon is a storyteller, speaker and trainer. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at Alternatively, email