A Book Review about The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker

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The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker

The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker is a must-read for any business executive looking to boost their effectiveness. A highly readable timeless classic book on management and leadership. What makes an effective manager? In an interview with Peter Drucker, the author states, “There is no such thing as an ineffective manager because most successful managers are not very successful. The trick is being an effective manager”.

The successful manager in history

The most successful manager in history has been Milton Hershey. His success at a large candy company, coupled with his ability to deal with his employees and motivate them, is evidence of this. However, he did not achieve his success through a secret formula. He knew what it took to make the candy companies successful. He had knowledge of marketing, sales, and manufacturing and understood that there were certain ingredients that went into making the best-selling candies. This was not a secret formula, but rather something he learned along the way.

Successful managers will spend their time and resources figuring out what makes their company successful. It is this process, along with their knowledge of market trends and their relationships with key people, that will enable them to be successful. Success is not an accident. It is a result of smart, strategic, and well-timed decision-making. If you are looking for the secrets of successful business people, read this book by Peter Drucker, and you will get the answers you have been looking for.


You Can Teach Yourself to Become Effective Executive

You can’t start to manage others effectively if you can’t manage yourself. For executives, the supreme “knowledge worker” implies handling your effectiveness. This isn’t a complex endeavor. It entails adopting a couple of special practices and five critical customs.

The Effective Executive presents these 8 practices.
  1. Concentrate on what needs doing. Often, this may vary from what you wish to do. Do only a couple of jobs at any particular time. Delegate others.
  2. Ensure that your activities benefit your company. Are you really doing the best thing for the business? The business is what counts, not the “owners, the inventory, the workers, or even the executives”
  3. Make an action plan. Intelligence, knowledge, and experience are useless without action. But action without a strategy is counterproductive. Your action plan reflects your aims, not your responsibilities. Get prepared to change if conditions justify it.
  4. Assume responsibility for your activities. Be sure that your direct reports understand the execution plan and all of its significant details such as deadlines. Determine all the stakeholders that need to be informed and educated concerning the strategy.
  5. Communicate your plan to others. Include your subordinates and superiors.
  6. Seek opportunities. View change as a tool to exploit, not as a threat. Never allow issues to become obstacles to success.
  7. Make your meetings successful. Meetings are very helpful or large time-wasters. No in-between. Possessing fruitful meetings necessitates self-discipline. End them the moment you reach your aims.
  8. Orient your thinking to “we” not ” I”. What is valuable to you is not really applicable. What matters most is what’s beneficial for your own business.

Executives may be brilliant, creative, educated, and unsuccessful. They are organized and follow systems. They work hard in the ideal locations, and their outcomes define who they are. They’re knowledgeable workers who assist the business in achieving its objectives. They see beyond mere management jobs and attempt to perceive significant trends that will influence their organizations.

Time constraints

An executive does not own their own time. It belongs to everybody in the business. Thus, individuals outside or inside the company want to interact with the executive; they feel totally free to take up that time. Such continuous breaks in immersion make it tough to operate.

Organizational silos

Most organizations have different departments where individual specialists concentrate on specialized interests; bookkeeping, legal, research, information management, etc. Every group includes different agendas and intentions. Their executives frequently need to combine their own efforts. Unfortunately, executives don’t always have control and might not obtain the support they need in their particular areas.


Executives operate deep within organizations. Thus, many don’t contact outsiders, for example, clients, market analysts, providers, etc. The organization cannot survive without positive outside outcomes, such as improved earnings and robust distributor support. Therefore, for almost any company, the external reality controls all merit virtually. Regrettably, as they progress within associations, many executives eliminate contact with this crucial outside reality.

Learn How to become more successful, regardless of the obstacles, by creating these five habits:

First Habit: “Know The Time”

To use your time well, take these three steps:

  1. Recording time. If you do not keep an eye on your time, then you can’t understand the best way to spend or waste it. Thus, carefully write down how much time each activity requires, then use this site as a guide to assigning certain actions and activities. If that’s the case, make a shift. The more successful they can be, the more successful you will get.
  2.  Managing time. Have you got a fantastic system set up to guard your time? Plan recurring occasions better to conserve time. Occasionally, having many people available wastes time since workers socialize rather than merely perform. Prune employees to run better. Holding a lot of meetings is a significant time-waster. Cut back if possible.
  3. Consolidating time. If you’re a senior executive, you’re very likely to have control over just one-quarter of your time, possibly less. Know how much discretionary time you own, then combine it to use it well. Place this block of time apart to use. Do not let anything hinder. Many times that requires strong self-discipline. You cannot achieve sustained benefits in small chunks of time.

Second Habit: “What Can I Contribute?”

A successful sales manager is not somebody who conducts the sales division but, instead, somebody who makes sure the business’s products market well. An effective accountant does not just balance the books; rather, they provide the financial information that the company needs to make sure it can operate profitably. Focus less on your own personal work. Focus instead on the true core gifts you may bring to your business.

Don’t specify these gifts. Involve “direct outcomes,” such as increased earnings or decreased costs, like helping build and maintain your company’s values. Consult your co-workers, subordinates, and superiors, ask them, “What contribution can I make that will allow you to contribute more efficiently?” Then work hard to send it.

Third Habit: “Making Strength Productive”

Power is an advantage. That can be true regarding your strong points, your own skills, experience, knowledge, and character, and your co-workers’ people. This begins with staffing choices. After hiring, don’t attempt and steer clear of flaws. Rather, optimize strengths. Don’t ask, “Can this individual work nicely with me personally?” Instead, concentrate on the contributions which the individual could make to your business.

During the American Civil War, advisers cautioned U.S. President Abraham Lincoln that the exceptionally effective General Ulysses S. Grant was a drunkard. “If I knew his brand, I’d send a barrel…to some other generals,” Lincoln replied. He constantly focused on outcomes, not flaws. A general under Lee’s command dismissed his requests, thus upsetting Lee’s battle strategy. “Why don’t you relieve him of his command?” an aide suggested to Lee. “What an absurd question. He performs.” In business, as in warfare, results are what matters. Keep this uppermost in mind when assessing future and present workers.

Fourth Habit: “First Things First”

Multitasking is a menace and never allows you to do the job nicely. To get things done, focus on a single task at one time or 2 at the most. Three is always unrealistic. Wolfgang Mozart allegedly could make multiple musical compositions in precisely the same moment. But the majority of people aren’t Mozarts. You could have the ability to accomplish your aims by multitasking, but your job will be substandard.

Rather than multitasking, operate smartly and fast onto a single job at one time. This doesn’t mean working in a hurried state; it means focusing and working steadily on the job at hand. Inform yourself and your staff in productive interests. When an action is faulty, shed it. Always prioritize. This requires courage. Aim high on your objectives. Always let a margin of job time allow the unexpected to happen. It certainly will.

Fifth Habit: “Decision Making”

Most scenarios require you to make essentially generic decisions — that is, typical and unexceptional. It’s possible to cope with these situations by applying established rules and overall principles and processes. The challenge is to ascertain when a situation is, so, typical or if it differs somehow, requiring special handling. The biggest decision-making mistake would be to attempt and manage a generic problem like it were uncommon.

“The Criterion of Relevance”

The worth of these decisions you make is dependent upon their value. Here is the right dimension of the validity of your subjective judgment concerning any situation you need to manage as an executive. The clarity and value of your views matter since the facts of most scenarios are seldom discernible right away; they generally manifest over a time period.

Always operate as though the”standard measurement isn’t the ideal measurement.” Start looking for different choices. It’s possible to establish an investment’s estimated profitability or the present value of the anticipated returns. Every one of those yardsticks presents a partial image of the cost’s probable price, so insist that your accountants supply all these calculations. The mixture of information that stems from these different gauging relevance methods will allow you to create the most educated choice.

Everything Depends on You

As an executive and a knowledge worker, you signify an extremely valuable — indeed, crucial — resource. You determine society, and countless researchers such as you, to be more successful. If you’re successful, your company can be successful and contribute to the overall good. This is an educated and noble function. But society can’t attain this essential goal if its associations are ineffective. To avoid this pitfall, they need strong knowledge workers. Thus, you’re an integral part of this system, which moves society forward.

Important Details in The Effective Executive

  • Successful executives prioritize, create plans, accept accountability, communicate, search for opportunities, maintain productive meetings, and bring about their own organizations.
  • An executive position conspires against her or his effectiveness.
  • It is possible to teach yourself to become a production executive.
  • To accomplish this, you need to master five particular customs.
    • The first habit is to control your own time and understand the best way to use it.
    • The next habit is to concentrate on what you could promote your company.
    • The next custom is to build on your own strengths and your business’s strengths.
    • The fourth habit would be to reevaluate your aims and work on them one by one.
    • The fifth custom would be to standardize decision making wherever possible.
  • Society depends on successful organizations, which rely on successful leaders.
The Effective Executive

Brief Quotes

  • “It is more productive to convert an opportunity into results than to solve a problem – which only restores the equilibrium of yesterday.” ― Peter F. Drucker, The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
  • “Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge are essential resources, but only effectiveness converts them into results.” ― Peter F. Drucker, The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done
  • “A well-managed factory is boring. Nothing exciting happens in it because the crises have been anticipated and have been converted into a routine.” ― Peter F. Drucker, The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done


The book rests on two premises:

  • The executive’s job is about being effective.
  • Effectiveness is something that can be learned.

Effectiveness isn’t a “topic”. It is self-discipline.

Important Steps:

  1. Recording where your time is spent. If done with persistence, recording the time will nudge a person towards the upcoming steps for increased efficacy.
  2. Within this measure, the executive develops the discipline to believe the main reason he is on the payroll and how to do his part. These “whys” will result in setting high standards on himself and assume full responsibility, which these questions ask the executive to assume obligation rather than be fulfilled when he merely “pleases the boss.”
  3. Making strengths successful — The executive incorporates individual purpose and business requirements, individual ability and business outcome, individual accomplishment, and business prospect.
  4. The effective decision is concerned with logical actions. It requires both process and investigation, but its character is the integrity of the activity.

The self-development of a successful executive is essential to the evolution of the business. As effective executives operate towards getting successful, they increase the performance level of the entire organization.

Similar Books

Why We Recommend The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker

As a writer and an intellectual, the late Peter F. Drucker was a genuine small business sage. He introduced the idea of the “knowledge worker,” a word that he employs extensively in this intriguing book. Every Peter Drucker publication is a real business classic, especially this one, and he delves into detail regarding what supervisors should achieve and how they ought to conceptualize their function. We think it can allow you to think about everything you’re doing. Nobody writes more intelligently or presciently on the direction and its functions compared to Drucker. All executives, even people that are already successful, will gain from reading this insightful, enlightening novel.

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