Own My Growth

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The Five Habits To Be Effective At Work

Effective Executive

I was in a fascinating conversation with a young friend of mine this evening, and we got chatting about what makes one effective in whatever they do in today’s day and age. 

What are the key attributes we all need to keep in mind to be effective in whatever we do everyday?

Peter.F.Drucker lays out in his book The Effective Executive the five practices or five habits of all those looking to be effective in their work.

Know Their Time

Effective Executives know that time is a scarce resource, and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed. Therefore, they are extremely conscious of how they spend their time. They keep tight track of where and how they spend their time, focussing on committing big chunks of time to activities and tasks that are valuable.

Always Think In Terms of-What Can I Contribute?

Effective executives always focus on their contribution. They start with taking personal responsibility by asking themselves this simple question- ” What can I contribute that will significantly affect the performance and the results of the institution I serve?” This question can lead to many answers in terms of the content of the work one puts in, its level, quality, standard, and eventually its impact. Effective executives know that their contribution is what matters more than their efforts.

Focus on Strengths

Effective executives build on their strengths in terms of what they can do well. Instead of obsessing about improving on their weaknesses, they focus on leveraging their strengths to impact overall results better. They also see strength as a collective attribute- their own strength, strengths of associates and superiors. This appreciation of the strengths of others is what motivates them to collaborate effectively in teams.


Effective Executives know clearly the specific areas where superior performance will produce outstanding results. They always operate with the 80:20 principle in mind and force themselves to set priorities and commit a majority of their time and focus on those. They don’t get distracted by the low-priority stuff and instead focus on those tasks that truly matter.

Make Effective Decisions

Effective executives, finally, make effective decisions. They operate with a set of first principles and mental models to navigate the day-to-day complexities. They exercise good judgment based on facts and an understanding of the long-term implications of the decisions. Effective executives appreciate that decision-making plays a vital role in every aspect of what they do. How they prioritize, allocate time resources, deal with people, problem solve, etc.

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