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The Effective Executive

The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

By Peter F. Drucker
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The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker

In The Effective Executive, author Peter Drucker offers a step-by-step guide to becoming a more productive and effective executive. By mastering a few procedures and principles, you can develop your own capacities as a leader and also support your employees’ strengths, with the goal of improving results across your organization.

Key idea 1 of 8

Effective executives lead by example; improving your own skills will help you succeed.

Think about an executive you admire. Does this person seem so skilled it’s as if they were born for the job?

In reality, effective executives aren’t born, they’re made. Which means you can become one too.

Start by tuning in to yourself. Management isn’t about transforming other people, it’s about leading by example.

An effective executive knows what needs to happen, how to put ideas into action and how to promote a sense of responsibility and accountability throughout an entire organization.

U.S. President Harry Truman is a good example of an effective leader. When Truman took office in 1945, although he wanted to focus on domestic issues, he realized that issues abroad needed attention. So he focused on foreign policy and eventually established himself as one of the most effective foreign-policy presidents in American history.

These kinds of stellar results are only possible if you develop yourself and make an effort to improve.

To do so, carefully review your own performance. When done systematically, this can be a powerful tool for self-development. By checking final results against initial expectations, you’ll be able to better understand your strengths and pinpoint areas for improvement.

Performance reviews can also reveal whether you hold any misconceptions. You might be a victim to decision bias, for example: making decisions based on the loudest or most prominent suggestions.  

Another reason performance reviews are helpful is because they help you discover your true weaknesses – things that you can’t really improve. Through this you’ll know better when to delegate decisions to others, to improve the overall outcome.

So, what can you concretely change in your day-to-day life that will allow both you and your organization to become more effective?

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