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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.
Beyond that, he points out that we have to build on our own strengths and those of the people in our organization. That is how we can outperform the competition and accomplish much more.
We also need to be systems thinkers, getting to the core of the issue first. If we are weak on new products, we need to work on the new product development process before fine-tuning our marketing. If we reverse the order of these activities, our results will be far less.
Perhaps the best section in the book has to do with executive decision-making, when to make a decision, about what, and what principles to apply. If you only read this section, you would be well rewarded for studying this fine book.
I especially liked the familiar Drucker use of important historical examples to make his points. You'll remember the principles better because the examples are so vivid.
Although this book was written some time ago, it retains the strength of its insight today. Truly , this is a timeless way to achieve greater effectiveness.
You may be concerned about how you are going to learn to apply these concepts. That is actually quite easy. Drucker provides questions in each section that will guide you, step-by-step, to focus your attention on the most promising areas.
If you only read one book about how to improve your personal effectiveness as an executive, you will find this to be a rewarding choice.
0Kommentar| 13 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 14. September 2009
Ich habe dieses Buch in einem Stück gelesen und bin begeistert. Es hat mir praktisch geholfen, in meinen Projekten über Nacht produktiver zu werden.

Viele der Einsichten sind wirklich interessant und neu für mich gewesen. Es ist sozusagen eine Art Anleitung wie man das richtige tut, um Erfolgreich in einer Organisation zu sein. Die Prinzipien lassen sich aber auch für die Arbeit in virtuellen Teams anwenden.

Der Stil ist klar verständlich und leicht zu lesen. 5 Sterne.
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am 21. Mai 2015
Wir haben ein Tourismus Unternehmen mit 20-50 Mitarbeitern, je nach Saison. Die Beschreibung des Arbeitsumfeldes vom Arbeiter zum Wissensarbeiter ist genial. Drucker versteht es die Zusammenhänge von heute aus der Geschichte zu erklären. Daraus zieht er logisch nachvollziehbar Schlüsse für die Zukunft. Seine umfassenden Anlalysen und daraus folgenden Synthesen sind zum Großteil auch für uns kleines Unternehmen verständlich und anwendbar. Seit ich das Buch schon 2 mal gelesen habe, glaube ich ein besserer Chef zu sein.
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am 14. April 2000
This is a good and clearly written book. One section that fascinated me was about being efficient with time-management. Drucker sites FDR's aide Harry Hopkins as being so sick during WW II, that he literally could only work a few hours every OTHER day. But that he got MORE work done than anyone in wartime Washington. Because he was efficient. Winston Churchill called him, "Lord Heart of the Matter." I know workaholics who emotionally deprive their families, but take a martyr-like pleasure in their workaholism. And, yes, sometimes they are very accomplished. But I also have a friend in the South of France who is filthy rich, and lives on a huge estate, and made all his immense wealth on his own. And he still works full time. And he rarely works more than a six hour day! And sometimes much less than that! After reading this book, I realized he is just very efficient. Another good book is Robert Ringer's MILLION DOLLAR HABITS. He relates how he used to be frustrated to see so many people work fewer hours than he, but make a lot more money. Then he read a study that showed the most successful people are not workaholics: they are efficient. THE EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE lets you learn new and helpful habits.
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am 3. Dezember 2015
Peter Drucker: The Effective Executive published 1985 - re-visited in 2015, December 3, 2015

This review is from: The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (Harperbusiness Essentials) (Paperback)
In this relatively small book – 178 pages – Peter Drucker describes the profile of “The Effective Executives”.

All quotes are original Drucker, my comments are marked MC.

With the amazon Look inside function you find the overview of the contents.

When Peter Drucker wrote his book he was 76 years old and he had more than 40 years of experience as a consultant, insiders know his global reputation.

In my mind when carefully read and reflected each page in this book is providing important information. If "speedy Gonzales" readers are looking for cook book like recipes and google for an article about this topic they will be surprised that the first 10-20 recommendations are all extracts of this book quoting Peter Drucker as a reference – today!

Reading the cook book version the fast readers will not get very far, therefore I recommend digesting this book.

Here are some Highlights to stimulate reading the whole book:

Chapter 1:
Effectiveness can be learned – MC: it must be learned and developed, a never ending story.

Who is an Executive? 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 to obtain results. …Most managers are executives – though not all. But many nonmanagers are also becoming executives in modern society. …
Conversely, whether a knowledge worker is an executive does not depend on whether he manages people or not. … Two hundred people, of course, can do a great deal more work than one man. But it does not follow that they produce and contribute more. … Knowledge work is not defined by quantity. …
The most subordinate manager, we now know, may do the same kind of work as the president of the company or the administrator of the government agency; that is, plan, organize, integrate, motivate, and measure. His compass may be quite limited, but within his sphere, he is an executive.
MC: it comes out very clearly that Drucker’s view – as always – is wide and deep.

Chapter 2:
Know Thy Time … “Know Thyself”, the old prescription for wisdom, is almost impossibly difficult for mortal men. But everyone can follow the injunction “Know Thy Time” if he wants to, and be well on the road toward contribution and effectiveness.

MC: many executives are proud that his/her secretary or assistant is managing his or her calendar resp. their time. If this is the case, they do not really manage, they get managed.
How many executives know how much time they spend on which task? Therefore, the time management topic sounds very unexciting and “business as usual.” In reality it is often the worst managed part of life, especially when people look back after some time passed asking whether or not time was spent wisely. One of the best books written by a top entrepreneur/top executive focusing on this topic is “Men-Minutes-Money” by Thomas J. Watson Sr., the founder of IBM, published in 1934 with all his speeches given between 1915 and 1933.

Chapter 3: What can I contribute? … The Executive’s Own Commitment …
Warm feelings and pleasant words are meaningless, are indeed a false front for wretched attitudes, if there is no achievement in what is, after all, a work-focused and task-focused relationship. On the other hand, an occasional rough word will not disturb a relationship that produces results and accomplishments for all concerned.

MC: finally occasional rough words should help the addressee. He or she gets a chance to change and tune what needs to be adjusted instead of being surprised by getting fired without knowing the reasons.

The effective meeting
The meeting, the report, or the presentation are the typical work situation of the executive.

MC: everybody leading and/or attending a meeting should ask himself/herself: was it a good meeting, was it fruitful, did it contribute to results, have actions been decided, are they follow up immediately?

Chapter 4: Making Strength Productive …
Staffing From Strength …

MC: very often staffing is delegated to headhunters, their motives and focus must not comply with the hiring executive. For decades when IBM was very successful professionals were hired by managers responsible for the staffing without the involvement of headhunters.

Peter Drucker quotes Andrew Carnegie, the father of the U.S. steel industry, who chose for his own tombstone: ‘Here lies a man who knew how to bring into his service men better than he was himself.’ …
However, while almost every large organization has an appraisal procedure, few of them actually use it.

MC: in my mind those who use it have to be differentiated between those who use is effectively or inefficiently. Using it is no guarantee.

Chapter 5 First Things First
MC: it is closely related to and should be the consequence of chapter 2.

Chapter 6: The Elements of Decision-making and Chapter 7: Effective Decisions
A decision is a judgment. … One thing the effective executive will not do at this point. He will not give in to the cry, “Let’s make another study.” This is the coward’s way – and all the coward achieves is to die a thousand deaths where the brave man dies but one. … the effective executive does not permit another study. He does not waste the time of good people to cover up his own indecision. … Executives are not paid for doing things they like to do. They are paid for getting the right things done – most of all in their specific task, the making of effective decisions.

MC: when I get confronted with opinions that specific business management practices and policies are old and we need new ones - if they are still valid – I consider such objections in most cases as a polite way to reject any advice – whatever it is – and use it as an argument for inactivity, equivalent with what Drucker is criticizing correctly: “Let’s make another study.”

In my professional life I had hundreds of customer relationships with top executives and entrepreneurs.
Within IBM I have experienced numerous top executives during 26 years.
As part of a complex private research and development project in the area of business management I have studied more than 120 books written by entrepreneurs and top executives.

With this background I have reviewed Peter Drucker’s excellent book.
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am 25. November 2009
A fundamental assumption of most productivity books is the existence of well-defined, known-duration tasks. In practice, however, this rarely applies. Especially the knowledge worker - to speak in Drucker's terms - cannot estimate whether he needs a week or a month to complete what he does.

Drucker presents an approach to effectiveness that works in the real world. He does not present a detailed productivity system (which, in my experience, is always too complex to work in practice anyway), but rather flexible, practice-oriented principles for being effective. Consider, for instance, this

"Most discussions of the executive's task start with the advice to plan one's work. [...] The only thing wrong with it is that it rarely works. The plans always remain on paper, always remain good intentions [...] Effective executives do not start with their tasks. They start with their time [...] by finding out where their time actually goes. Then [...] they consolidate their "discretionary" time into the largest possible continuing units."

In contrast to other authors, Drucker's book goes far beyond a simple to-do list management. He states principles of effectiveness like contribution, building on strengths, effective decisions, etc. that are - in practice - at least as important as to-do lists.
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am 21. Januar 2000
I were totally shocked when I first read this book(I borrowed it from the public library but now I want to have my own copy).It just tell the feeling inside the bottom of my heart of how to be an effective executive in the knowledge-based society.'To get the right thing done'is a simple jargon but it is also the real essence of being effective in every aspect.I highly recommend this book to all my friends who really want to achieve something in their career.
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am 16. September 1999
An outstanding book with the key word in the title being "effective". Having spent several years working in large corporations and having dealt with many types of managers and executives I am able to count on one hand the ones I have been associated with who were actually "effective" in their respective positions. A must read for anyone currently in an executive management position or aspiring to become any type of manager.
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am 19. August 1997
This book has some powerful messages for the modern executive. The difference between being busy and being effective is an important distinction that Drucker highlights. He also highlights some important rules of thumb that are very true but often taken for granted. For example, the fact that any significant innovation requires large chunks of consecutive time spent focused on the issue. Any manager that wants to create a breakthrough change in their organization needs to think through the issues in large chunks. All we can do in small chunks of time is what we did yesterday. He also points out that the critical scarce resource for any executive is time and that some of the most important decisions an executive makes is any honest assessment of what is not going to get done. Too many projects keep moving forward burning up critical time and never reaching critical mass. Drucker provides insight into how to either make something happen or how to be decisive about what you are not going to do which is often even harder
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am 7. Dezember 1998
I first heard of this book while watching an excerpt of Newt Gengrich's class (yes the one he got in so much trouble over). He said that he always recommends this book to his subordinates. When asked if he ever follows up to find out if his advice has been followed, he replied, "I don't have to follow up; I can tell by their work habits whether or not they have read the book." Yes the specific examples are outdated but human nature has not changed during the last several thousand years. The basic elements of his advice have not changed. I recommend anyone who is in a supervisory capcity, or considering it, read this book. Have your subordinates read it, and keep it on your shelf. You will want to refer to it again and again.
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