Drucker on Concentration, Performance, Results – The Effective Executive – 6

“It is more productive to convert an opportunity into results than to solve a problem – which only restores the equilibrium of yesterday.”

In earlier posts in this series on Peter Drucker’s book The Effective Executive: the definitive guide to getting the right things done, we reviewed his list of basic practices:

Effective managers:

  1. “….know where their time goes.” 
  2. “….focus on outward contribution”
  3. “….build on strengths….” 
  4. “….concentrate on the few major areas where superior performance will produce outstanding results.”
  5. “…. make effective decisions.”

Peter Drucker's The Effective Executive

This posting is devoted to the fourth practice, concentrate where it counts.((1)) 

If there is any one “secret” of effectiveness, it is concentration. Effective executives do first things first and they do one thing at a time.((2)) Continue reading

Footnotes:
  1. All quotes in this posting come from pages 100-112 in Peter Drucker The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done. Revised. Collins Business, 2006. []
  2. Note that decades before the controversies over so-called “multi-tasking” Drucker notes the singular importance that people can only effectively do one task at a time. I have written about this earlier in “Multitasking, Too Much Information, Interruptions, and High Performance”  []

Build on Strength – Drucker’s The Effective Executive – 5

In earlier posts in this series on Peter Drucker’s book The Effective Executive: the definitive guide to getting the right things done, we reviewed his list of basic practices:

Effective managers:

  • “….know where their time goes.” 
  • “….focus on outward contribution”
  • “….build on strengths….” 
  • “….concentrate on the few major areas where superior performance will produce outstanding results.”
  • “…. make effective decisions.”

Peter Drucker's The Effective ExecutiveThis posting is devoted to the third practice, build on strengths.((1))

The effective executive makes strength productive. He knows that one cannot build on weakness. To achieve results, one has to use all of the available strengths – the strengths of associates, the strengths of the superior, and one’s own strengths. These strengths are the true opportunities. To make strength productive is the unique purpose of organization. It cannot, of course, overcome the weaknesses with which each of us is abundantly endowed. But it can make them irrelevant. Its task is to use the strength of each man as a building block for joint performance.((2))

Enable Strengths and Make Weaknesses Inconsequential Continue reading

Footnotes:
  1. All quotes in this posting come from pages 71-99 in Peter Drucker The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done. Revised. Collins Business, 2006. []
  2. Note again the dated language from 45 years ago []

Performance, Contribution, Results, Commitment – Drucker’s The Effective Executive – 4

“To Focus on Contribution is to Focus on Effectiveness”

Peter Drucker's The Effective ExecutiveThis is the fourth in a series discussing the 1968 book by Peter Drucker, The Effective Executive: the definitive guide to getting the right things done. In this part we will focus on the third chapter, “What Can I Contribute?”

“The effective executive focuses on contribution. He looks up from his work and outward towards goals. He asks, “What can I contribute that will significantly affect the performance and results of the institution I serve?” His stress is on responsibility.”((1)) …..

“The man who focuses on efforts and who stresses his downward authority is a subordinate no matter how exalted his title and rank. But the man who focuses on contribution and who takes responsibility for results, no matter how junior, in in the most literal sense of the phrase, “top management”. He holds himself accountable for the performance of the whole.”

What Is Contribution?

Contribution refers to three areas critical to organizational success: Continue reading

Footnotes:
  1. all quotes in this posting come from pages 52 – 70 in Peter Drucker The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done. Revised. Collins Business, 2006. []