An Effective Executive

I am currently reading Peter Drucker’s book The Effective Executive as a part of my continued development.  Drucker, as you may know, was one of the most widely known and respected management gurus, writing over 35 books that have shaped both businesses and public organizations.  I am only through the first 3o pages, but the first page of the introduction really impacted me and I want to share it with you.

Drucker points out that effective executives can have a variety of personalities and styles.  They can be extroverted, introverted, charismatic, dull, and have different values and strengths.  However, he  argues, all effective executives “followed the same eight practices.”

  • “They asked, ‘What needs to be done?”
  • “They asked, ‘What is right for the enterprise?'”
  • “They developed action plans.”
  • “They took responsibility for decisions.”
  • “They took responsibility for communicating.”
  • “They focused on opportunities rather than problems.”
  • “They ran productive meetings.”
  • “They thought and said ‘we’ rather than ‘I.'”

These steps provide common sense guidelines for any leader of any organization size or type on how to provide leadership and direction to an organization.  As I evaluated my work and how I approach each day, I thought I did okay but I also found that I easily get caught up in doing transactional or task driven work versus using these eight steps to move the organization forward.  Some transactional and task driven work is a necessary part of my job and probably any job, but these questions help me refocus my priorities and organize my day and week. 

As I continue to read The Effective Executive, I will share with you any more thoughts and lessons learned.  So far, I highly recommend this book.

Now on to another subject.  We are headed out to our August 2009 Career Conference in Charlotte, NC this week.  We have an exciting lineup of companies from privately held companies to several Fortune 500 types to include the #1 company on this year’s Fortune 500.  The industries include medical device manufacturing and sales, biopharmaceutical manufacturing, consumer packaging, civil engineering/construction and more.  Some sample positions include marketing, account managing, operations supervising, production planning, regional managing, manufacturing managing, logistics, project managing and process improving.

Stay tuned.  We will keep the blog updated with Conference results and lessons learned.

Joel Junker