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The Effective Executive in Action is a journal based on Peter F. Drucker's classic and preeminent work on management and effectiveness — The Effective Executive. Here Drucker and Maciariello provide executives, managers, and knowledge workers with a guide to effective action — the central theme of Drucker's work. The authors take more than one hundred readings from Drucker's classic work, update them, and provide provocative questions to ponder and actions to take in order to improve your own work. Also included ...
The Effective Executive in Action is a journal based on Peter F. Drucker's classic and preeminent work on management and effectiveness — The Effective Executive. Here Drucker and Maciariello provide executives, managers, and knowledge workers with a guide to effective action — the central theme of Drucker's work. The authors take more than one hundred readings from Drucker's classic work, update them, and provide provocative questions to ponder and actions to take in order to improve your own work. Also included in this journal is a space for you to record your thoughts for later review and reflection. The Effective Executive in Action will teach you how to be a better leader and how to lead according to the five main pillars of Drucker's leadership philosophy.
The Effective Executive in Action is a companion book to The Effective Executive. It provides a step-by-step guide for training yourself to be an effective person, an effective knowledge worker, and an effective executive -- for training yourself to get the right things done. The book will help you develop habits of effectiveness, to apply wisdom to your tasks. There are five practices or skills to acquire to be an effective person. These five are
Managing your time;
Focusing your efforts on making contributions;
Making your strengths productive;
Concentrating your efforts on those tasks that are most important to results; and
Making effective decisions.
The first practice, managing your time, and the fourth practice, concentrating your efforts on the most important tasks, are twin pillars upon which effectiveness rests.
You can obtain greater quantities of every other resource except time. Time is your most limiting resource so time management is foundational to getting the right things done. Improving your effectiveness begins by finding out where your time goes and then taking steps to eliminate those tasks that waste your time and the time of others.
Once you have eliminated time wasters the second pillar is to set priorities for the use of your time and to concentrate the application of your time to the highest priority tasks. Here you should give priority to those tasks that make the greatest contribution to your organization. Establishing priorities, and concentrating your efforts on them, is a skill that requires foresight and courage.
The remaining skills rest upon these twin pillars of time management and concentration on priorities.
To get the right things done you must learn to focus your time and effort upon the tasks that will produce results for your organization. Here you are first concerned with "what are results for my position?" And then, "how do I go about gaining commitment from others to help me attain these results?"
Next, you must learn to focus on strengths, yours, your subordinates', and your bosses'. You must take steps to develop your talents and the talents of others. Your staffing and appraisal decisions must be made based upon what a person can do, based upon his or her strengths, not on weaknesses. The one exception to the rule of focusing on strengths in staffing decisions is character and integrity. The presence of integrity accomplishes nothing in itself, but its absence in the leaders of your organization faults everything else because of the poor example it sets for others.
The last practice of effectiveness is decision making. Effective executives make effective decisions. Decision making requires that you take specific steps, such as making sure you have defined the problem correctly and have established correct specifications for an effective decision. But effective decisions often result from a clash of opinions. And decisions are not effective until they are turned into work and are followed up by feedback from their results.
You will not develop into an effective person simply by reading this book. Skills are developed by "doing" and by constant practice.
This book provides you with opportunities to develop your skills. These opportunities consist of questions and actions at the end of each reading. To get the most from this book, you should fill in the open spaces with answers to the questions and action steps that are posed after each reading. The questions and actions are the skill-building exercises in this book.
Questions probe your present practices. They lead you to specific responses. In contrast, actions call for steps to improve your performance and achievement. You should formulate specific actions that are appropriate for managing yourself and organizations.
We suggest that you learn one skill at a time. Each reading in this book is referenced to a section in its source book, The Effective Executive. The references at the end of each teaching are to specific and general passages in The Effective Executive that pertain to the reading.
The teachings, moreover, have been updated to reflect the numerous writings of Peter Drucker since the publication of The Effective Executive. Where Peter Drucker has written or spoken specifically about one of these five practices the material has been incorporated into the primary readings of each chapter.
In addition, the numerous sidebars in this book contain parallel readings from other works of Peter Drucker that refer more generally to each topic. In some of the readings, the sidebars also contain appropriate material from other authors that supplement the point made in the reading.
We wish you success in your pursuit of effectiveness. Remember, with the exception of "integrity," which has to do with "being," the five skills of effectiveness have to do with "doing." Consequently, the skills of effectiveness can only be acquired by practice and more practice.
Effectiveness can be learned. Effectiveness must be learned.
Excerpted from The Effective Executive in Action by Peter F. Drucker Copyright © 2005 by Peter F. Drucker. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted July 2, 2009