Business Nuggets from Peter Drucker

In 50 Business Classics, Tom Butler-Bowdon includes a discussion of Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive (1966).

These are among the dozens of insights that caught my eye:

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o “Effective executives first work out where their time goes, because it is the resource in shortest supply. You can always obtain more capital or find the right people, but you can’t ‘get’ time from anywhere. ‘Nothing else distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time,’ Drucker writes.” (page 76)

o “Most executives, Drucker observes, are focused on their efforts, not their results. They think about what the organization owes the  for the work they’ve done, and are very mindful of their status and authority…The effective executive is continually asking, ‘What contribution can I make?’ They are not starting out the day saying, ‘I will work 10 hours,’ but rather, I want to get X done.'” (77)

o “Focusing on things that a person isn’t good at, Drucker says, is ‘a misuse, if not abuse, of the human resource.’ The modern job appraisal is is an opportunity to judge the weaknesses of a person, and so undermine relationships between superiors and staff. Yet if a person feels  that their weaknesses are being overlooked and their strengths noticed and cheered on, they will work their hearts out for a boss. Executives who don’t follow the rule book and fail to do appraisals, Drucker says, are doing the right thing.” (78)

o “Computers will not replace human decision making, Druckedr says, because humans are much better at seeing the whole picture. Logic alone, which the computer is good at, cannot take in factors involving taste, opinion, values, and crucially, relationships, that are all important  in making good decisions. The computer can crunch the data, but only the executive can say what the data means for the organization.” (80)

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Here’s a direct link to learn more about Tom Butler-Bowdon and his work.

Here’s a direct link to learn more about Peter Drucker and his work.

50 Business Classics: Your shortcut to the most important ideas on innovation, management and strategy was published by Nicholas Brealey (2018).

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done was published by HarperBusiness.


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