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Part II: Becoming an 80/20 Manager – The Investigating Manager & The Superconnecting Manager


80/20 Manager by Richard Koch

Richard Koch wrote a book: 80/20 Manager that discusses how a manager of 80/20 is a transformative leader, a leader of Y ideology, who recognises that workers are inspired by imagination, teamwork and enjoyment in using their expertise. In contrast, Manager of X ideology will want to transfer his staff by command and control.

There are ten types of 80/20 managers written in his book.

  1. The Investigating Manager
  2. The Superconnecting Manager 
  3. The Mentoring Manager
  4. The Leveraged Manager
  5. The Simplifying Manager
  6. The Liberating Manager
  7. The Manager seeking meaning
  8. The Time-rich Manager
  9. The Lazy Manager
  10. The Strategic Manager

We will be discussing on two types of managers per article; specifically discussing on how they can be a solution during this pandemic (COVID-19).

  1. The Investigating Manager

“Curiosity is more important than knowledge” – Albert Einstein.

This quote creates the foundation for this type of Manager. Investigating Managers questions everything and understands that everything has a reason for it.

Being an Investigative Manager using the 80/20 rule will be for the Manager to identify who are their core customers and what are their core products. Also, to determine what makes these people or product to be core or different.

They usually ask seven questions to investigate.

  1. What single powerful idea will be able to turbo-charge the business
  2. Who will sponsor the plan, most probably a decision-maker
  3. Identify who is achieving great results and how are they doing it
  4. How can you make a 16-fold improvement to be called a quantum leap
  5. Who is my most important customer?
  6. Which single constraint is holding me back?

Investigating Manager during COVID-19

Using the seven questions to understand the situation:

  1. What unique powerful idea can the business have now during this climate that will turbo-charge the business? Do we need to change our mental model? If you are in the Oil & Gas industry and airliners do not have business during this period, what idea can you have to turbo-charge the business forward? Can the product be used for something else? The power of paradox will come in handy here.
  2. Who will be the one person who will sponsor the idea? Most of the time, it will be a decision-maker. What proposals need to be created to convince them of the plan?
  3. During this period, to find out which industry is doing well and still going strong. Not to copy what they are doing, but to understand what keeps them up. This initiative might give new concepts on our own business too.
  4. With the idea created, how can you achieve a 16 fold improvement? What are the steps and processes that need to be in place to see this? What needs to change to see the 16 fold improvement? Everyone works home now, does going online or digital give you the answer?
  5. How to achieve much more with much less? To calculate the cost and revenue and find out what you can do to reduce the cost and increase the revenue. This action means changing fundamental processes, thinking differently and replacing some parts. There can never be a different result with similar strategies.
  6. Who will be the identified customer who will buy into this idea? Know the customer so that the product/service/idea can be tailor-made for them first. This process will then help you to create a template moving forward.
  7. What would be the single constraint that is holding you back? There might be many challenges, roadblocks, but as an investigative manager, the idea is to identify one significant obstacle that holds you back 80% of the time.


  1. The Superconnecting Manager 

As the name says it, superconnecting managers are like magnets. They attract many different people to come together. If you are into networking, one thing you will realise is that when people from diverse background come together, new ideas emerge and opportunities are born. Acquaintances are people we have met once or twice, such as old school friends, someone you met over a network session. But these are the most important people as they might be a great helpful resource for you.

Red ticket vs Green ticket towards success

The difference between this two will be time. Red tickets are things that take long to achieve like attaining a degree. Green ticket, on the other hand, will be like having an acquaintance that might have certain information that will help you to be successful. One out of ten of such acquaintances might be helpful, and this generates little effort with big wins.

Big world vs Small world 

In a big world, there is too much space in-between, and it is not straightforward to connect with others easily through acquaintances. In a small world, everyone is linked and connected one way or another, and this makes it easy to connect with someone through an acquaintance.

Superconnecting Manager during COVID-19

During this period, especially when everyone is working from home, it will be the best time to catch up with individuals. We do not have to meet someone in person for a networking session. The COVID-19 situation has created an excuse to meet someone over an online platform quickly as it has become the new normal.

Creating green tickets

As a superconnecting manager, try to catch up with as many acquaintances as possible. Book their calendar for maybe 30mins slot, and have a conversation. That conversation could create opportunities, new ideas or even a different perspective, especially when they are from a different industry. Now that everyone is having the same “Villain”, we can enjoy the beauty of how everyone defines the Villain and what steps they have taken. It will almost be like watching different language movie of the same story – similar, but different. That difference is where the opportunity hides.

Creating a smaller world 

During this period, superconnecting managers will have online gatherings where you might be told to bring a +1. A term usually used to bring our spouse for any event, but that is where the world becomes “smaller”. As our spouse might be from a different industry, we create this spider web network and start to see how the systems to link everyone up.

In the next article, find out how The Mentoring Manager and The Leveraged Manager will deal with the pandemic.

Each team will be tasked to build a robot together. After which they will be going through the learning session on manual controls and how to control them. This will allow their robots to be unique as compared to the rest. Their final objective will be to pit the robot that they built against man-made obstacles such as to carry items and moving from point A to point B or to going through a maze or to dance! The possibilities is endless! They will then customise a message for the children using the robots built and have it delivered to the beneficiaries.


Learning Objectives


  • To understand that it is not always the results that matter but also the process
  • Engage participant’s imagination and problem solving skills
  • Increase confidence and commitment levels
    Allows greater meaning to giving and helping those in need
  • To tap on each other’s strengths and weaknesses

If you are looking for an exciting challenge with a meaningful element, The Supermarket Race Challenge! will be the program for you! Teams will get to earn cash by attempting a series of challenges along the race, in a bid to earn enough money to purchase essential items for the selected beneficiary. Given a limited time and facing multiple challenges, teams will have to plan carefully and make strategic decisions to optimize their resources, and purchase as many items as possible for a good cause.