The Effective Executive


This book, written by Peter F. Drucker, concludes with the statement that “effectiveness must be learned” and that the executive’s job is primarily to be effective. While you might initially focus on the word Executive and dismiss the content as relevant only to those esteemed persons who sit on the board of directors, Mr. Drucker drives home the relevance on page 5.

Every knowledge worker in modern organization is an “executive” if, by virtue of his position or knowledge, he is responsible for a contribution that materially affects the capacity of the organization to perform and obtain results.

While Mr. Drucker asserts that this work is not a textbook because “effectiveness, while capable of being learned, surely cannot be taught. Effectiveness is, after all, not a ‘subject’, but a self-discipline.” I would argue that he has done an effective job of teaching it.

Mr. Drucker rests his pillars on a foundation of five practices:

  1. Time Management
  2. Contribution of Effort
  3. Making Strengths Productive
  4. Prioritization
  5. Effective Decisions

Of these five practices, ACES actively recruits and develops individuals with good Time Management skills, an understanding of Priorities and a willingness to make decisions under pressure. It isn’t difficult to see how the other two practices can be leveraged in any one in our organization.

One of the most unique element of this book is its forthright practicality. Mr. Drucker is not content to merely dabble in the realm of the theoretical but drives hard into applicable disciplines that can make in impact today. While I have read any number of books that proposed to cover the same topic, I can not think of one that I walked away from so convicted to change specific aspects of my work day.

I was also struck by Mr. Druckers reference to, and description of, knowledge workers. If he didn’t coin the phrase he certainly defines it by breathing a life into the two words that anyone in the space will immediately recognize as fact. By defining the knowledge worker, a.k.a. the executive, so well he clearly demonstrates what the individual can focus on in order to improve their effectiveness.

I highly recommend this book, and if you can stand my dog eared and highlighted paperback I would be more than willing to loan out my copy.

ISBN #: 978-0-06-083345-9 
Recommended?: Yes

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