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The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (Harperbusiness Essentials) Paperback – January 3, 2006
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Harvard Business Review
'...it would be difficult to overestimate his contribution to management thinking'
Financial Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
The principles begin with a focus on time management. We can get greater quantities of every other resource we need, except time. Drucker reports that executives spend their time much differently than they think they do and much differently than they would like to. His solution is to begin by measuring how you spend your time, and compare it with an ideal allocation. Than begin to systematically get rid of the unimportant in favor of the important. His suggestions include stopping some things, delegation, creating policy decisions to replace ad hoc decisions, staying out of things that others should do, and so forth. Any student of time management will recognize the list he suggests. One of the best points is to give yourself large blocks of uninterrupted time to do more significant tasks. He also cautions us not to cut down on time spent with other people. If an hour is required, don't try to do it in 15 minutes.
Next, Drucker argues that we should focus on what will make a difference rather than unimportant questions. Otherwise, we will fill our time with motion rather than proceeding towards results.
Beyond that, he points out that we have to build on our own strengths and those of the people in our organization. That is how we can outperform the competition and accomplish much more.
We also need to be systems thinkers, getting to the core of the issue first. If we are weak on new products, we need to work on the new product development process before fine-tuning our marketing.Read more ›
1) Knows where their time goes. Time is the most valuable resource and is inelastic. It must be managed. What has priority? What is better left undone? What can be outsourced?
2) Focuses on results (not effort) by asking:
"What do I do that justifies my being on the payroll?" (pg 53).
3) Staff to people's strength (not the absence of weakness).
There is no such thing as a "good man". Good at what? Likewise, a person is hired to produce results, not to please a superior, or blend in.
4) Fills the job with the right person (not fits the job to the available person). Jobs in the organization are interdependent; if one changes, it will affect another. Also, "To tolerate diversity, relationships must be task-focused rather than personality focused." (pg 77)
5) Tries to be himself / herself (not someone else). (S)He looks for patterns in their performance, and focus on their strengths. "Feed the opportunities and starve the problems." (pg 98)
6) Concentrates on one effort at a time. (not multi-tasking)
It is hard enough to do one thing right.
7) Concentrates on important and strategic decisions (not a great number of small, reactionary decisions). Many problems were created in the past, and solving them only re-establishes the status quo. It is better to seek opportunities than just fix problems.
8) Makes decisions based on dissenting opinions (not pseudo facts and pre-judgements) Use other's opinions to form a case for each side.
9) Acts or does not act (no hedging or compromise)
Drucker starts the book by stating that this book is about managing oneself and that executives who do not manage themselves cannot possibly expect to manage other people.
Efficiency vs. Effectiveness:
"Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things."
For manual work, efficiency was enough. In today world, the center of gravity has shifted from the manual worker to the "knowledge worker" (a term Drucker coined in the 60s). For knowledge work, effectiveness is more important than efficiency.
Who is an executive?
Executive = a knowledge worker who is ... responsible for contributions (decisions, actions) ... that have significant impact on ... performance and results of the whole organization (derived from pages 5 through 9).
1. Manage time
2. Focus on contributions and results
3. Build on strengths
4. Set the right priorities
5. Make effective decisions
1. Manage time:
"Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed" (page 51).
Chapter 2, Know Thy Time, starts with a three-step process - recording, managing and consolidating time. Drucker then states the factors that make time a unique resource - the supply of time is inelastic, time is perishable and cannot be stored, time is irreplaceable (i.e. has no substitute), all work takes place in and uses up time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Always suggested by top entrepreneurs, a definite must read for any business minded individual.Published 3 days ago by norman comparini
The first book on management I've read that isn't by Ralph Currier Davis, and it didn't disappoint. I've bought two or three other copies to give to friends who have hinted at... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book gives you a very clear understanding of the effective executive. The making, learning and training of him or her. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Diana Cheung
A good book on the fundamentals of business. Good for any manager or person who aspire to be a manager.Published 27 days ago
Unnecessarily ornate language. Old references. Overall good though.
Some effort to extract content from words. Read more
Trigger warning: blatant, ugly sexism and heaps of unexamined privilege.
Dated: Points are made using anecdotes referring to products and companies that may not be familiar to... Read more
This book seemed dated and the writing style comes across self-serving and inflated. I suggest finding another book on effectiveness at work.Published 2 months ago by Wendy
My second time through this book, and I remember I better each time. Knowledge workers, or executives, learn to eliminate waste from their schedule and how to make effective... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dave Voyles