Neil S. Parmar on “A Year of Leadership Lessons–in 5 Minutes”

Here is a brief article by Neil Parmar for Inc. magazine in which he provides a brilliant summary of several key points in a recently published book that is certain to become a bestseller and then a “classic.”

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In his new book, A Year with Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness, Joseph Maciariello shares a year’s worth of leadership lessons. Inc. condensed some of the essentials into a 5-minute read. A Year with Peter Drucker was published by HarperBusiness, an imprint of Harper Collins (December 5, 2014).

Often called one of the most influential business gurus and leadership thinkers of the modern era, Peter Drucker spent 26 years working with Joseph Maciariello at Claremont Graduate University. After Drucker died in 2005, Maciariello garnered access to a trove of Ducker’s consultations with business and social sector leaders through various transcripts and recordings.

Here, in condensed form, are some of the most important leadership lessons as detailed in Maciariello’s new book, A Year with Peter Drucker.

In order to be a leader, Maciariello tells Inc., you must:

1. Earn trust–and build integrity: That doesn’t mean you need to be well liked, or even agreeable. Trust is fostered through the conviction that a leader means what they say. “Leadership is an achievement of trust,” Maciariello says. “You can’t achieve integrity without trust.”

2. Be confident: To foster a group of followers you must have confidence. “Trust largely comes from your ability to act with confidence on the words of others,” says Maciariello.

3. Delegate responsibility: But only delegate once employees have been trained to assume responsibility. “That was a big item to Drucker — the idea of the responsible worker, and he wanted to push authority and responsibility down,” says Maciariello. “In order to do that you have to make sure people are properly trained. As soon as they’re properly trained you empower them. The key driver in Drucker was the almost unlimited potential that there is in many human beings for growth. The only way you get there is assuming responsibility and moving on.”

4. Rank the important rather than the urgent your priority in life: “When a leader–a public official or an executive–takes office, he or she comes with a certain skillset, and naturally you want to do what you like because you do it best,” says Maciariello. But that could be a major mistake. “It may not be what the organization needs at the time. That’s what Drucker was saying. Know the difference between the important and the urgent,” says Maciariello.

5. Take responsibility for allocating your time: You can start this process by asking what needs to be done, not what do you want to do. Then act on it. Fast. Keep in mind a manager has two specific tasks, Maciariello writes.

o The first is creating a productive organization that turns out more than the sum of the resources put into it.
o The second is to harmonize in each decision and action of what needs to be done now as well as in the long range.

“A manager can’t sacrifice either without endangering the organization,” Maciariello writes.

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