The Effective Executive
July 13, 2021
When I entered the workplace for the first time, I was fortunate to have one of my early supervisors insist that I read a book by Peter Drucker titled, The Effective Executive. I am sure that I must have browsed through this book more than twenty-five times over the years.
Peter Drucker wrote Effective Executive almost 70 years back, but it feels like he wrote this book for the present generation. Perhaps, this is the essence of timeless wisdom. Like wine, its value does not diminish. If anything, it becomes valuable with time.
In this Book, Drucker lays out the core of what makes us effective in the current knowledge era- Doing the right things well. The book is about 175 pages and makes for simple reading, although a few sections may move slowly. In the main though, I would say the text should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in being more effective in whatever work they do.
If you need some motivation or inspiration to pick this book, here are a few nuggets of wisdom.
- Effectiveness is about figuring out what not to do (Drucker calls these activities posteriorities), not just on what to do.
- There is little correlation between effectiveness and intelligence.
- Knowledge workers should be self-directed – and his/her aim is toward effectiveness.
- Knowledge work is not measured by quantity or costs but by results.
- Migrate to what you do uncommonly well.
- Effective executives build on strengths.
- Do one thing at a time( This is something that social psychologists talk about today, but Drucker mentioned this 70 yrs back).
- Create consolidated chunks of time for important tasks.
- “What can I and no one else do which, if done really well, would make a real difference to this company?”
- Results occur on the outside of the organization, not the inside. Only costs and efforts exist on the inside, results on the outside.
You might be a freshly minted college pass out getting into your first job or a working veteran; it doesn’t matter- The Effective Executive offers wisdom and perspective that doesn’t discriminate. Its relevance is quite universal.