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The Effective Executive (Classic Drucker Collection) Paperback – 24 May 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2Rev Ed edition (24 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750685077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750685078
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Long recognised in business circles as a voice to listen to'
Harvard Business Review

'...it would be difficult to overestimate his contribution to management thinking'
Financial Times

About the Author

Born in Vienna in 1909, Peter F. Drucker was educated in Austria and England. From 1929 he was a newspaper correspondent abroad and an economist for an international bank in London. Since 1937 he has been in the United States, first as an economist for a group of British banks and insurance companies, and later as a management consultant to several of the country's largest companies, as well as leading companies abroad. Drucker has since had a distinguished career as a teacher, first as Professor of Politics and Philosophy at Bennington College, then for more than twenty years as Professor of Management at the Graduate Business School of New York University. Since 1971 he has been Clarke Professor of Social Science at Claremont Graduate School in California. In addition to his management books, Peter Drucker is also renowned for his prophetic books analysing politics, economics and society. These books span fifty years of modern history beginning with The End of Economic Man (1939) and including The Practice of Management; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Managing in the Next Society; Management Challenges in the 21st Century; The Effective Executive and The Essential Drucker.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Have you ever run into executives who create more harm than good? Do you realize that some people may see you that way, at least in some situations.
One of the most famous quotes by Peter Drucker is that he sometimes refers to himself as an "insultant" rather than a consultant. His straight talk in this book will direct you onto the right path for helping your organization accomplish more.
Peter Drucker begins this book by pointing out that there is no science of how to improve executive effectiveness, nor any naturally-occurring effective executives. The redeeming point of this problem is that he argues that executive effectiveness can be learned.
The principles begin with a focus on time management. We can get greater quantities of every other resource we need, except time. Drucker reports that executives spend their time much differently than they think they do and much differently than they would like to. His solution is to begin by measuring how you spend your time, and compare it with an ideal allocation. Than begin to systematically get rid of the unimportant in favor of the important. His suggestions include stopping some things, delegation, creating policy decisions to replace ad hoc decisions, staying out of things that others should do, and so forth. Any student of time management will recognize the list he suggests. One of the best points is to give yourself large blocks of uninterrupted time to do more significant tasks. He also cautions us not to cut down on time spent with other people. If an hour is required, don't try to do it in 15 minutes.
Next, Drucker argues that we should focus on what will make a difference rather than unimportant questions. Otherwise, we will fill our time with motion rather than proceeding towards results.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Kroese on 12 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
Peter F. Drucker is probably the greatest management thinker of the 20st Century. He has been Professor at New York University and at 83 years old still teaches at the Graduate Management School of Claremont University, California. This book, originally published in 1966, is split up in seven chapters, plus a conclusion.
Effectiveness is not just about intelligence, imagination and knowledge, it is about getting results. And the author believes that "effectiveness can be learned - and it also has to be learned." In Chapter 1 - Effectiveness Can Be Learned, Drucker discusses the five habits of the mind that have to be acquired to be an effective executive: 1. Know thy time; 2. Outward contribution, or what can I contribute?; 3. Making strength productive; 4. First things first; and 5. Effective decision-making. Each of these elements of executive effectiveness are covered in the next five chapters.
In Chapter 2 - Know Thy Time, Drucker explains the three-step process that is the foundation of executive effectiveness. Step 1 is the recording of time; step 2 is the management of time; and step 3 is the consolidation of time. Time is the limiting factor. "Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed."
"The focus on contribution is the key to effectiveness: in a man's own work ...; in his relations with others ...; and in his use of the tools of the executive ..." This outward contribution is the subject of Chapter 3 - What Can I Contribute? The executive is accountable for the performance of the whole. This accountability results in four basic requirements of effective human relations in order to manage the effectiveness of the team: 1. communications; 2. teamwork; 3. self-development; and 4. development of others.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
Note: The title of this review is a portion of one of Peter Drucker's most important insights: "The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The true dangerous thing is asking the wrong question."

* * *

I first read this book when it was originally published in 1967 and have since re-read it several times because, in my opinion, it provides some of Peter Drucker's most important insights on how to "get the right work done and done the right way." By nature an "executive" is one who "executes," producing a desired result (an "effect") that has both impact and value. As Drucker once observed in an article that appeared in Harvard Business Review at least 40 years ago, "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." Therefore, the effective executive must develop sound judgment. Difficult - sometimes immensely difficult - decisions must be made. Here are eight practices that Drucker recommended 45 years ago:

o Ask, "what needs to be done?"
o Ask, "What is right for the enterprise?"
o Develop an action plan
o Take responsibility for decisions.
o Take responsibility for communications.
o Focus on opportunities rather than on problems.
o Conduct productive meetings.
o Think in terms of first-person PLURAL pronouns ("We" rather than "I").

The first two practices give executives the knowledge they need; the next four help them convert this knowledge into effective action; the last two ensure that the entire organization feels responsible and accountable, and will thus be more willing to become engaged. "I'm going to throw in one final, bonus practice.
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