I recently dusted off a book I first read about 5 years ago called the Effective Executive by Peter Drucker, because as an office we are picking out what we think the top 10 business books are and I pulled a lot from this one and felt it should be on the list. I haven’t […]
I recently dusted off a book I first read about 5 years ago called the Effective Executive by Peter Drucker, because as an office we are picking out what we think the top 10 business books are and I pulled a lot from this one and felt it should be on the list. I haven’t looked through it in a few years, so figured I would give it another read. The book is short, under 200 pages, meaning you can tackle it in one 2-3 hour sitting.
Drucker is a certified business genius, and his contributions to the field of management earned him a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Let that sink in. There is 10-15 of those awarded every year and it is the highest honor a civilian can receive. If the guy was writing business books and teaching on that level, he has some insights you can take away.
The effective executive is broken down in to five key steps.
1. They know where there time goes
2. They focus on outward contribution
3. They build on strengths
4. They concentrate of a few major areas where superior performance will produce results
5. They make effective decisions
For knowing where there time goes, this one is hard for an individual to gage in this day and age, but is a key to effective management. The book was written in 1967, but the info is even more pertinent today 50 years later. Drucker highly recommends keeping a time log for a few weeks every six months or so to really see where you are spending your time. What you think you are doing all day, and what you actually are doing all day will be two different things. He also outlines the groundwork for the process of time chunking where you turn off your phone, shut down all distractions (in this day and age that would be email, social media, etc) and focus on a single project or decision for 1-2 hours. It takes that long to really tackle any project, and if you get distracted 15 minutes in, you spend at least 5-10 minutes getting back to where you left off, waisting more time.
Contribution to your company can be broken down into in four key components.
- Team work
- Self development
- Development of others
Focus on doing the best you can as an executive in these four major areas.
Building on strengths is also a best practice of effective executives. People have certain areas of unique great skill. That’s where they should be working. Yes you may have to put up some diva behavior out of them, or they may not follow your instructions to a T in those areas, but as a manager you have to be okay with that, and work with them if they are in an area of strength and overall there work there benefits the team. If you are a subordinate in an organization, you need to realize your boss has certain areas of strength and work with him on letting him put those to use to help you, and help fill in for some of his deficiencies if you are planning to stay with the organization for a while, as people rarely get promoted above there current boss with in a firm.
First things first retouches on the importance of use of time, and also has some elements of decision making and risk analysis. To be an effective executive you must have the courage to make plans, and know that stuff will go wrong and be okay with that but keep moving ahead. It also means being realistic in your time frames and knowing that everything takes longer than you initially thinks it will when doing anything new, so adding in buffer time between projects.
Finally it looks at the decision making process. The first thing to realize is that there are vary rarely new problems, and that these problems can be solved with correct decision making. Make a decision and truly look at the feedback. You also want to look at the clear specification as to what the decision has to accomplish so that feedback is valid. You have to look at what you hope to accomplish out of the decision. You need to know what is right and in the best interest of all rather than what you want or who is right, because what you want and who is right are always compromised on during the process. Finally you need to continuously test the decision and there process against expectations, and be open to the fact you may have been wrong and undergo continuous improvement.
The book is definitely worth a read, if your not a huge reader hopefully there are some bullet points in here you could pull out and put to use today in your pharmacy business! If you want to look at some more books we have reviewed click here to check out our thoughts on the E-Myth and the originals. Two other excellent business reads.