The Employee Engagement Network

The Effective Executive: A book review by Bob Morris

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
Peter Drucker
HarperBusiness/A HarperCollins Imprint (2006)

"The true dangerous thing is asking the wrong question."

Note: The title of this review is a portion of one of Peter Drucker’s most important insights: "The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The true dangerous thing is asking the wrong question."

*     *     *

I first read this book when it was originally published in 1967 and have since re-read it several times because, in my opinion, it provides some of Peter Drucker’s most important insights on how to “get the right work done and done the right way.” By nature an “executive” is one who “executes,” producing a desired result (an “effect”) that has both impact and value. As Drucker once observed in an article that appeared in Harvard Business Review at least 40 years ago, "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." Therefore, the effective executive must develop sound judgment. Difficult – sometimes immensely difficult – decisions must be made. Here are eight practices that Drucker recommended 45 years ago:

o  Ask, “what needs to be done?”
o  Ask, “What is right for the enterprise?”
o  Develop an action plan
o  Take responsibility for decisions.
o  Take responsibility for communications.
o  Focus on opportunities rather than on problems.
o  Conduct productive meetings.
o Think in terms of first-person PLURAL pronouns (“We” rather than “I”).

The first two practices give executives the knowledge they need; the next four help them convert this knowledge into effective action; the last two ensure that the entire organization feels responsible and accountable, and will thus be more willing to become engaged. “I’m going to throw in one final, bonus practice. This one’s so important that I’ll elevate it to the level of a rule: [begin italics] Listen first, speak last.” [end italics]

This volume consists of eight separate but interdependent essays that begin with “Effectiveness Can Be Learned” and conclude with “Effective Decisions.” Actually, there is a “Conclusion” in which Drucker asserts that “Effectiveness Must Be Learned.” I agree. The essays are arranged in a sequence that parallels a learning process that prepares an executive to “assume responsibility, rather than to act the subordinate, satisfied only if he ‘pleases the boss.’ In focusing himself and his vision on contribution the executive, in other words, has to think through purposes and ends rather than means alone.”

I highly recommend this book to all executives who need an easy-to-read collection of reminders of several basic but essential insights from one of the most important business thinkers, Peter Drucker. I also presume to suggest that they, in turn, urge each of their direct reports to obtain a copy and read it. The last time I checked, Amazon sells a paperbound edition for only $11.55. Its potential value is incalculable.

Comment

You need to be a member of The Employee Engagement Network to add comments!

Join The Employee Engagement Network

580 Videos Related to Employee Engagement

Click on this eBook listing over 580 videos available on the network. When you open the document up online you can click on the title to go directly to the video. Happy and engaged viewing.

EEN Facebook Feed

The one question employee engagement survey: Why are you still here?

The one question employee engagement survey: Why are you still here?


The shortest Employee Engagement survey has one question | Leandro Herrero
leandroherrero.com
And the question is: ‘Why are you still here?’ You learn about the organization by asking questions to employees when they leave you (exit interviews) but you learn far more when you ask them why they are staying (‘stay’ interviews). It’s not a joke. ‘Why are you still here?’ – with the emphasis on…

Open employee engagement with your key moment http://conta.cc/1p8ny4U

Open employee engagement with your key moment http://conta.cc/1p8ny4U


Open employee engagement with your key moment
conta.cc
What is the key moment at work that has the biggest impact on engagement for you and others? Is it the start of the day? The end of the day? How you begin a mobile meeting? Dealing with a conflict or work overload? Find the key moment and determine what you can do to prevent that moment from turning…

Employee Engagement Definition: A focus on “with others” http://wp.me/p1An1o-4Dw

Employee Engagement Definition: A focus on “with others” http://wp.me/p1An1o-4Dw


Employee Engagement Definition: A focus on "with others"
www.davidzinger.com
Employee engagement is not a solo endeavor (Reading time 42 seconds) I loved reading Kate Nasser’s deeper look at my employee engagement definition of: “good work, done well, with others, every day.” Thank you Kate. She offered an… [ 117 more words. ]

© 2014   Created by David Zinger.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service