Peter Drucker on “What Makes an Effective Executive”

In the 50th anniversary edition of The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker shares his thoughts about what makes an executive effective.

As he explains, “An effective executive does [begin] not [end] need to be a leader in the sense what the term is now most commonly used. Harry Truman did not have one ounce of charisma, for example, yet he was among the most effective chief executives in U.S. history. Similarly, some of the best business and non-profit CEOs I’ve worked with over a 65-year consulting career were not stereotypical leaders…

“What made them all effective is that they followed the same eight practices:”

1. They asked, “What needs to be done?”
2. They asked, “What’s right for the enterprise?”
3. They made action plans.
4. They took responsibility for decisions.
5. They took responsibility for communicating.
6. They were focused on opportunities rather than problems.
7. They ran productive meetings.
8. They thought and said “we” rather than I.”

Drucker devotes a separate chapter to each of the eight in this book, thoroughly explaining HOW.

“I’m going to in one final, bonus practice. This one’s so important that I’ll elevate it to the level of a rule: Listen first, speak last…like every discipline, effectiveness can be learned and must be earned.”

The 50th anniversary edition of The Effective Executivee: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done was published by HarperBusiness (January 2017).

To learn more about Peter Drucker and his work, please click here.

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