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Effective Executive in Action: A Journal for Getting the Right Things Done

Effective Executive in Action: A Journal for Getting the Right Things Done

by Peter F. Drucker, Joseph A. Maciariello

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Effective Executive (1966) forms one of the foundations of Drucker's reputation as a corporate leadership guru, and this workbook companion developed by Maciariello, a professor at Drucker's business management school, draws heavily upon the master source. The format extracts bullet points from the original text, along with supplementary material from other Drucker writings, then adds reinforcing questions and suggested action items. Additional space is provided to write down reflections and results. "Decision making is the specific activity of the executive," Drucker writes, but before you can learn how to make the right decisions, you need to manage your work time and concentrate your focus on the right tasks, then develop your strengths and the strengths of those around you. These precepts have become familiar mantras in the corporate environment, so little of the material should come as a surprise, making the exercises accessible and easy to perform. Key points are emphasized and re-emphasized, developed in broad themes then presented once more for individual review. If the text is repetitive, it can perhaps be forgiven by the authors' obvious desire to drill Drucker's recommended behavior into readers' heads so that it becomes consistent practice. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.31(h) x 0.82(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Effective Executive in Action

A Journal for Getting the Right Things Done
By Peter F. Drucker

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Peter F. Drucker
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060832622


How to Use The Effective Executive in Action

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.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Peter F. Drucker is considered the most influential management thinker ever. The author of more than twenty-five books, his ideas have had an enormous impact on shaping the modern corporation. Drucker passed away in 2005.

Joseph A. Maciariello is Marie Rankin Clarke Professor of Social Science and Management Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management of Claremont Graduate University. He collaborated with Drucker on many publications, including The Effective Executive in Action, the revised edition of Management, and The Daily Drucker.

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