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Real Management Tools Intelligently Explained, "The Effective Executive" by Peter Drucker review

Peter Drucker provides in "The Effective Executive" what is missing is almost every other leadership book I have read: incredible ideas without indulgent self-promotion. Drucker gets to the point, writing efficiently. He explains we can learn to be effective, how to determine our role and priorities, and how decisions are made.

Although any of this can be applied to top brass positions, he respects that most of us reading this are in management at a much lower level. Keeping anecdotes to a minimum, and then, relying on history and major leaders (like Robert E. Lee), the book transcends Drucker himself and the 45 years or so it has been available. Never name dropping, the book reads like a smart textbook, not a management flavor of the month. Because of his approach writing, I left having learned how to manage better with lessons I expect to apply in real life.

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (Harperbusiness Essentials)Much of his thesis comes down to our responsibility to the organization, not what can we get others to do. He uses the term "contribute" in that we need to ask what we can contribute, how, what is needed for the contribution. While he points out the obvious, that things will get done by ourselves and those below us, he also explains our superiors are likely to respond likewise through our example.

A few useful ideas: Work on strengths, not weaknesses (dividends will be higher). Ask ourselves what will produce results (effectiveness starts here). Focus on the real future, not defending the past (if last year's product isn't this year's, move on). It is more than how-to, but also, it is about why: Why these are good ideas, and what can we expect from implementing them.

I fully recommend "The Effective Executive" by Peter Drucker.

Anthony Trendl
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