The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
Blog Title : The Effective Executive Summary
Book : The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
Author : Peter Drucker
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The Effective Executive Summary
Effective executives differ widely in their personalities, strengths, weaknesses, values, and beliefs. All they have in common is that they get the right things done. Effectiveness is a discipline. And, like every discipline, effectiveness can be learned and must be earned.
Effective executives also make sure that problems do not over whelm opportunities.
Chapter : Effectiveness Can Be Learned
Effective executives know where their time goes. They work systematically at managing the little of their time that can be brought under their control.
Effective executives focus on outward contribution. They gear their efforts to results rather than to work. They start out with the question, “What results are expected of me?” rather than with the work to be done, let alone with its techniques and tools.
Effective executives build on strengths—their own strengths, the strengths of their superiors, colleagues, and sub ordinates; and on the strengths in die situation, that is, on what they can do. They do not build on weakness. They do not start out with the things they cannot do.
Effective executives concentrate on the few major areas where superior performance will produce outstanding results. They force themselves to set priorities and stay with their priority decisions. They know that they have no choice but to do first things first—and second things not at all. The alternative is to get nothing done.
Effective executives, finally, make effective decisions. They know that this is, above all, a matter of system—of the right steps in the right sequence.
Chapter: Know Thy Time
Effective executives, in my observation, do not start with their tasks. They start with their time. And they do not start out with planning. They start by finding out where their time actually goes. Then they attempt to manage their time and to cut back unproductive demands on their time.
The effective executive therefore knows that to manage his time,he first has to know where it actually goes.
Time is totally irreplaceable. Within limits we can substitute one resource for another, copper for aluminum, for instance. We can substitute capital for human labor. We can use more knowledge or more brawn. But there is no substitute for time.
The first step toward executive effectiveness is therefore to record actual time-use.
Chapter : What Can I Contribute?
The effective executive focuses on contribution. He looks up from his work and outward toward goals. He asks: “What can I contribute that will significantly affect the performance and the results of the institution I serve?” His stress is on responsibility.
The focus on contribution turns the executive’s attention away from his own specialty, his own narrow skills, his own department, and toward the performance of the whole. It turns his attention to the outside, the only place where there are results.
Executives who do not ask themselves, “What can I con tribute?” are not only likely to aim too low, they are likely to aim at the wrong things. Above all, they may define their contribution too narrowly.
The executive who sets his sights on contribution, raises the sights and standards of everyone with whom he works.
Commitment to contribution is commitment to responsible effectiveness.
To focus on contribution is to focus on effectiveness.
Chapter : Making Strength Productive
The effective executive makes strength productive. He knows that one cannot build on weakness.
To achieve results, one has to use all the available strengths—the strengths of associates, the strengths of the superior, and one’s own strengths. These strengths are the true opportunities.
To make strength productive is the unique purpose of organization.
To focus on strength is to make demands for performance.
Effective executives know that they have to start with what a man can do rather than with what a job requires.
The effective executive knows that to get strength one has to put up with weaknesses.
Effective executives lead from strength in their own work. They make productive what they can do.
Making strengths productive is equally important in respect to one’s own abilities and work habits.
Chapter : First Things First
If there is any one “secret” of effectiveness, it is concentration. Effective executives do first things first and they do one thing at a time.
Effective executives know that they have to get many things done—and done effectively. Therefore, they concentrate— their own time and energy as well as that of their organization—on doing one thing at a time, and on doing first things first.
A decision therefore has to be made as to which tasks deserve priority and which are of less importance.
The effective executive does not, in other words, truly commit himself beyond the one task he concentrates on right now.
Pick the future as against the past.
Aim high, aim for something that will make a difference, rather than for something that is “safe” and easy to do.
Chapter : The Elements of Decision making
Effective executives do not make a great many decisions. They concentrate on the important ones.
Effective executives know when a decision has to be based on principle and when it should be made on the merits of the case and pragmatically. They know that the trickiest decision is that between the right and the wrong compromise and have learned to tell one from the other.
The effective executive knows that a decision that does not satisfy the boundary condition is ineffectual and inappropriate.
Chapter : Effective Decisions
The effective decision-maker does not start out with the assumption that one proposed course of action is right and that all others must be wrong. Nor does he start out with the assumption, “I am right and he is wrong.” He starts out with the commitment to find out why people disagree.
Executives who make effective decisions know that one does not start with facts. One starts with opinions.
Effective executive also knows that people do not start out with the search for facts. They start out with an opinion.
Executives are not paid for doing things they like to do. They are paid for getting the right things done—most of all in their specific task, the making of effective decisions.
Executive effectiveness is surely one of the basic requirements of effective organization and in itself a most important contribution toward organization development.
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