Book: The Effective Executive

This is in no way a review. Just a post to recommend the purchase and consumption of Peter F. Drucker’s The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done.

My first exposure to Drucker was one of my first supervisor’s in Higher Ed – Todd Coomber. Todd was one of my most valuable mentors and is now a very close friend. In Todd’s e-mail signature he had the following quote:

“A practical education must prepare (…) for work that does not yet exist and cannot yet be clearly defined.” – Peter F. Drucker

I remember seeing it once when he sent me an e-mail and Goggling it. I knew then how iconic Peter Drucker was in the world of management. At the time I didn’t spend a lot of time reading books in management because I was knee high in books to read for my undergrad.

Now that I am a Manager and also a Master’s student studying Management in Higher Ed – I do spend some time reading books on management. One such book is the Effective Executive.

Drucker wrote this definitive guide to Getting the Right Things Done in 1969. When David Allen (famous for Getting Things Done) was only 24.

According to Peter Drucker in the Effective Executive, there are five habits of the mind that have to be acquired to be an effective executive. [source]

1. Executives have to know where their time is being spent.
2. They must focus on outward contribution. Focusing more on results rather than work.
3. Build on strengths first, and then give attention to areas of weakness.
4. Concentrate on the few major areas where superior performance will produce outstanding results
5. Make effective decisions.

The book is excellent and you don’t have to take my word for it. The guys at Manager Tools gave it 5 stars. They call it “the greatest management book ever written.”

It’s a undeniable classic and should be on reading lists for no other reason. The fact that it is great is just a bonus.

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