Drucker’s 7-point guide to leading well

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Some of the most effective executives never fit the stereotype of a “leader,” says management guru Peter Drucker. They aren’t charismatic, and they range from wildly extroverted to reclusive, laid-back to controlling.

What actually makes them effective, he says, is that they all do these seven things:
  1. They ask “What needs to be done?” You’ll always come up with a slew of possibilities, but Drucker says he’s never seen a leader who could effectively juggle more than two tasks. Tip: It’s not about what you want to do.

  2. They ask “What is right for the enterprise?” That won’t guarantee a right answer, but failing to ask guarantees the wrong answer.

  3. They develop action plans. Napoleon supposedly said that no successful battle ever followed its plan. Still, Napoleon planned all his battles.

  4. They take responsibility for decisions. Everybody has to know who’s accountable for carrying out a decision; the deadline; whom the decision will affect and, therefore, who must know about, understand and accept it; and the names of others who have to be informed.

  5. They take responsibility for communicating. Share your plans, and ask for comments from all your people, supervisors and peers. Organizations are held together by information.

  6. They focus on opportunities, not problems. And, of course, opportunities often arise from problems.

  7. They think, “we,” not “I.” This comes back to putting the organization first. It’s easier said than done.
— Adapted from “What Makes an Effective Executive,” Peter F. Drucker, Harvard Business Review.

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