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Ed Batista @edbatista
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"Meetings are by definition a concession to deficient organization. For one either meets or one works. One cannot do both at the same time." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The effective executive knows he needs large chunks of time and that small driblets are no time at all." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The reason why working home nights is so popular is actually its worst feature: It enables an executive to avoid tackling his time and its management during the day." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
Writing in 1967, Peter Drucker on the paramount importance of adaptability in response to constant change:
"The most common cause of executive failure is inability or unwillingness to change with a new position. The executive who keeps on doing what he has done successfully before he moved is almost bound to fail." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The knowledge worker is usually a specialist [and]...must think through who is to use his output and what the user needs to know and to understand to be able to make productive the fragment the specialist produces." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Effective executives find themselves asking other people in the organization, their superiors, their subordinates, but above all their colleagues in other departments, 'What contribution from me do you require to make your contribution to the organization?'" ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Communications are practically impossible if they are based on the downward relationship... The harder the superior tries to say something to his subordinate, the more likely is it that the subordinate will mishear. He will hear what he expects to hear." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Communications within the knowledge work force is becoming critical as a result of the computer revolution in information... The more we automate information handling, the more we will have to create opportunities for effective communication." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"One can either direct a meeting and listen for the important things being said, or one can take part and talk; one cannot do both." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The idea that there are 'well-rounded' people who have only strengths and no a prescription for mediocrity if not for incompetence. Strong people always have strong weaknesses, too. Where there are peaks, there are valleys." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Effective executives never ask [about a subordinate], 'How does he get along with me?' Their question is 'What does he contribute?'" ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The really 'demanding boss'--and one way or another all makers of men are demanding bosses--always starts out with what a man should be able to do well--and then demands that he really do it." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Organization is the specific instrument to make human strengths redound to performance while human weakness is neutralized...One cannot by oneself be only strong; the weaknesses are always with us." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Structuring jobs to fit personality is almost certain to lead to favoritism and conformity. And no organization can afford either. It needs equity and fairness in its personnel decisions. Or else it will either lose its good people or destroy their incentive..." 1/2
"And [the organization] needs diversity. Or else it will lack the ability to change and the ability for dissent which the right decision demands." 2/2 ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"One implication is that the men who build first-class executive teams are not usually close to their immediate colleagues & subordinates. Picking people for what they can do rather than on personal likes or dislikes, they seek performance, not conformance." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Til he enters the first adult job, the knowledge worker never has had a chance to perform. All one can do in school is to show promise." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Executives everywhere complain that many young men with fire in their bellies turn so soon into burned-out sticks. They have only themselves to blame; they quenched the fire by making the young man's job too small." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Appraisals, as they are now being used in [most] organizations, were designed by clinical & abnormal psychologists for their own purposes. The clinician is a therapist trained to heal the sick... He assumes that nobody comes to him unless he is in trouble." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"For a superior to focus on weakness, as our appraisals require him to do, destroys the integrity of his relationship with his subordinates... To discuss a man's defects when he comes in as a patient seeking help is the responsibility of the healer." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The effective executive knows that to get strength one has to put up with weakness...[and will] ask: 'Does this man have strength in one major area? Is this strength relevant to the task? If he achieves excellence in this one area, will it make a significant difference?'" 1/2
"And if the answer is 'yes,' he will go ahead and appoint the man...Staffing the opportunities instead of the problems not only creates the most effective organization, it also creates enthusiasm and dedication." 2/2 ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Conversely, it is the duty of the executive to remove ruthlessly anyone--and especially any manager--who consistently fails to perform with high distinction." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"One of the greatest feats in military history was done by a man who lacked all the trappings of 'leadership.' What Marshall had were principles. 'What can this man do?' was his constant question. And if a man could do something, his lacks became secondary." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Making strengths productive is more than an essential of effectiveness. It is a moral imperative, a responsibility of authority and position. To focus on weakness is not only foolish, it is irresponsible." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The effective executive accepts that the boss is human (something that intelligent young subordinates often find hard)... To build on his strengths, that is, to enable him to do what he can do, will make him effective & will make the subordinate effective." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"All of us are 'experts' on other people & see them more clearly than they see themselves. To make the boss effective is therefore usually fairly easy. But it requires focus on his strengths... It requires building on strength to make weaknesses irrelevant." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Most executives...are only too conscious of what the boss won't let them do, of what company policy won't let them do, of what the government won't let them do. [And] they waste their time & strengths complaining about things they cannot do anything about." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The assertion that 'somebody else will not let me do anything' should always be suspected as a cover-up for inertia. But even where the situation sets limitations, there are usually meaningful things that can be done. The effective executive looks for them." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"In every area of effectiveness within an organization, one feeds the opportunities and starves the problems... The effective executive looks upon people including himself as an opportunity. He knows that only strength produces results." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"No matter how well an executive manages his time, the greater part of it will still not be his own. Therefore, there is always a time deficit." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"This is the secret of people who do so many things & apparently so many difficult things. They do only one at a time. As a result, they need much less time in the end than the rest of us." ~Peter Drucker, 1967. You're Not Multi-Tasking, You're Half-Assing…
"The people who get nothing done often work a great deal harder." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"No one has much difficulty getting rid of the total failures. They liquidate themselves. Yesterday's successes, however, always linger on long beyond their productive life." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
The effective executive "always asks: 'Is this still worth doing?' And if it isn't, he gets rid of it so as to be able to concentrate on the few tasks that, if done with excellence, will really make a difference." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Above all, the effective executive will slough off an old activity before he starts on a new one." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Systematic sloughing off of the old is the one and only way to force the new." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"A decision has to be made as to which tasks deserve priority and which are of less importance. The only question is which will make the decision--the executive or the pressures." 1/2
"If the pressures rather than the executive are allowed to make the decision, the important tasks will predictably be sacrificed." 2/2 ~Peter Drucker, 1967. Importance vs. Urgency…
"What one postpones, one actually abandons... There is nothing less desirable than to take up later a project one has postponed when it first came up." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
When identifying priorities, Courage > Analysis (Peter Drucker, 1967)
"It is more productive to convert an opportunity into results than to solve a problem--which only restores the equilibrium of yesterday." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Concentration--that is, the courage to impose on time and events his own decision as to what really matters and comes first--is the executive's only hope of becoming the master of time and events..." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Effective executives do not make a great many decisions. They concentrate on the important ones." ~Peter Drucker, 1967. Leadership, Decision-Making and Emotion Management…
"Effective executives know...that the most time-consuming step in the process is not making the decision but putting it into effect. Unless a decision has 'degenerated into work' it is not a decision; it is at best a good intention." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Even today, few businessmen realize that research, to be productive, has to be the 'disorganizer,' the creator of a different future and the enemy of today. In most industrial laboratories, 'defensive research' aimed at perpetuating today, predominates." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The trouble with miracles, after all, is not that they happen rarely; it is that one cannot rely on them." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"It is fruitless and a waste of time to worry about what is acceptable and what one better not say so as not to evoke resistance." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The effective decision-maker assumes that the traditional measurement is not the right measurement. Otherwise there would generally be no need for a decision; a simple adjustment would do. The traditional measurement reflects yesterday's decision." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The first rule in decision-making is that one does not make a decision unless there is disagreement." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"There are three main reasons for the insistence on disagreement. It is, first, the only safeguard against the decision-maker's becoming the prisoner of the organization...Everybody is a special pleader, trying--often in perfectly good faith--to obtain the decision he favors." 1/
"Second, disagreement alone can provide alternatives to a decision. And a decision without an alternative is a desperate gambler's throw... Above all, disagreement is needed to stimulate the imagination." 2// ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The effective decision-maker organizes disagreement. This protects him from being taken in by the plausible but false or incomplete... Disagreement converts the plausible into the right and the right into the good decision." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The effective decision-maker does not start out with the assumption that one proposed action is right & that all others must be wrong. Nor does he [assume], 'I am right and he is wrong.' He starts out with the commitment to find out why people disagree." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Most people start out with the certainty that what they see is the only way to see at all." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"No matter how certain he is that the other side is completely wrong and has no case at all, the executive who wants to make the right decision forces himself to see opposition as his means to think through the alternatives." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"There is one final question the effective decision-maker always asks: 'Is a decision really necessary?' One alternative is always the alternative of doing nothing." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"De minimis non curat praetor' [The magistrate does not consider trifles] said the Roman law almost two thousand years ago--but many decision-makers still need to learn it." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The decision is now ready to be made...And it is at this point that most decisions are lost. It becomes suddenly quite obvious that the decision is not going to be pleasant, is not going to be popular, is not going to be easy." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The computer, being a tool, is probably not the cause of anything. It only brings out in sharp relief what has been happening all along." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Decision-making can no longer be confined to the very small group at the top. Every knowledge worker will [have to be] a decision-maker himself or will have to be able to play an active, an intelligent, and an autonomous part in the decision-making process." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"The greatest impact of the computer lies in its limitations, which will force us increasingly to make decisions, and above all, force middle managers to change from operators into executives and decision-makers." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"[The] computer has sparked interest in decision-making. But the reason is not that the computer will 'take over' the decision. The reason is that with the computer's taking over computation, people...will have to learn to make effective decisions." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Effectiveness, while capable of being learned, surely cannot be taught." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
"Organizations are not more effective because they have better people. They have better people because they motivate self-development through standards, habits & climate. And these result from systemic, focused self-training in becoming effective executives." ~Peter Drucker, 1967
So ends my live-tweeting of Peter Drucker's 1967 masterpiece, "The Effective Executive"…. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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