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The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,069 Ratings  ·  264 Reviews
What makes an effective executive?

The measure of the executive, Peter F. Drucker reminds us, is the ability to "get the right things done." This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge may all be wasted in an executive job without the acquired habits of mind that mold them i
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by HarperBusiness (first published 1966)
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Mar 08, 2008 Janet rated it it was amazing
I used to be a large reader of Jack Welch practices at GE, until I read that he looked to Drucker. I've been reading Drucker and re-reading Drucker ever since. He is the master at learning how to be "effective" and from him, I learned how to filter what are the best effectiveness 21st century leadership practices.

Now, after 14 years of running a company and 8 years of trying to create a leadership engine to run a company, I believe that the 21st century practices for effectiveness in order of s
Andrew Canavan
Jan 30, 2015 Andrew Canavan rated it really liked it
Shelves: winter-2015
Stop reading boring blogs and books about productivity and go straight to the source of many of these ideas. Then, stop thinking about being productive and go do something.
Gene Babon
Dec 23, 2010 Gene Babon rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership
No one in a managerial role should be allowed to manage others without having read at least one book from Peter Drucker. Drucker is widely acclaimed as The Father of Modern Management and published 39 books in a lifetame that spanned 95 years. The Effective Executive was published in 1967 and this book is as good a starting point as any for the uninitiated.

Effectiveness is a habit and habits can be learned through practice, lots of it. According to Drucker there are five habits that, once acquir
Nov 03, 2013 Nefficus rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
I picked up this book after hearing it was one of three that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos makes all of his senior executives read. This book could have been alternatively titled "The Effective Knowledge Worker." Certainly not as catchy, but more descriptive, because the audience for Drucker's book is not just the corporate executive who oversees a large group of subordinates. It is targeted ultimately at any knowledge worker - those whose chief contribution to the organization is through generation and ...more
Eric Chappell
Nov 12, 2014 Eric Chappell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-reading
A fantastic resource. Seminaries (often) do a phenomenal job of equipping people to be experts in the Word. Where most are weak is training church leaders to be time-managers, meeting-facilitators, action-planners, decision-makers, and priority-setters. These are all the products of general wisdom and stuff that can be learned from a wide variety of "secular" sources (see Proverbs). Peter Drucker's classic has literally changed the way I think about scheduling my time, choosing priorities, and t ...more
Michael Karpov
Nov 05, 2012 Michael Karpov rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal
бухгалтерский учет, кадровая политика, маркетинг, ценообразование, экономический анализ, психология, а также в естественных науках – от физики и биологии до геологии.

пять основных элементов для повышения эффективности труда работника управления.

1. Эффективные управляющие должны знать, на что они расходуют свое время. Умениеконтролировать свое время является важнейшим элементом производительной работы.

2. Эффективные управляющие должны концентрироваться на достижения, выходящие за рамки своих орга
Matt Burgess
May 05, 2010 Matt Burgess rated it it was amazing
The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting Right Things Done (2006), Peter Drucker

Kicking off the Personal Effectiveness portion of the Personal MBA curriculum is the purveyor of modern management, Peter Drucker. Notice the subtitle to this book before you read. It says "getting right things done" where you might have misread it as "getting things done right". Drucker takes decades of consulting experience with numerous famous and infamous companies and in its fifth edition, he bre
Mark Dunn
Sep 03, 2012 Mark Dunn rated it really liked it
Know Thy Time
- take a time inventory & eliminate "need not be done", "could be done by others", and "wasting other's time".
- prune time wasters
- lack of systems --> crisis
- overstaffing --> unnecessary coordination
- malorganization --> excessive mtgs
- malfunction in information
- consolidate discretionary time into meaningful chunks to facilitate effectiveness (eg 1.5 hr)

What can I contribute?
- in terms of EXTERNAL results
- aim high

Making strengths productive
- focus on indv
Natasia Angel
1. Know thy time. First step toward effectiveness: recording where the time goes. By analysing the time, we can eliminate time wasters.

2. Focus on contribution.

3 Making strengths productive. In making strengths productive, the executive integrates individual purpose & organisation needs, individual capacity & organisation results, individual achievement & organisation opportunity.

4. First things first. Develop a character consisting of foresight, self-reliance, courage, & a lasti
Apr 22, 2015 Franklin rated it really liked it
Each person is the CEO of his/her own Life. If that premise is granted, then this is an outstanding book with a whole bunch of Insights for everyone. Though written about half a century ago, most of the principles discussed herein, by the Dean of Management himself, seem very relevant in today's dynamic scene.
Samuel Seibert
Jan 18, 2016 Samuel Seibert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: data-science, biz
Nazrul Buang
Nov 02, 2014 Nazrul Buang rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, favorites
Finally finished reading "The Effective Executive" (2006) by Peter F. Drucker, and I'd out-rightly say that this is one of the best management books I've ever read. Although this book is rather old (originally written in 1985), Drucker's succinct contents remain very relevant even in present day. For people who have read REWORK by Jason Fried, this book is actually its original and major influence.

Some of his best points in this book include:

1) People should be aware of how much time is spent on
Rhodes Davis
Oct 09, 2014 Rhodes Davis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Originally written in 1967 by the father of business management, this book will help any business person journey towards greater responsibility and success. Having defined what an "Effective Executive" is, Drucker emphasizes that effectiveness is a learned skill. By examining what one can contribute to the success of the enterprise, and thus one's personal success, he stresses the importance of managing one's time, priorities, and playing to your strengths. A key part of business success is effe ...more
Kari Metzger
Sep 20, 2014 Kari Metzger rated it liked it
Oh my, dare I say "meh" on this book? I *love* Drucker, don't get me wrong. I even tackled the beast "Management" and loved it. This book is a great book for someone (see end for my recommendation of 'who'). I have read lots of books on management, and the concepts that I'm sure this book pioneered are reflected throughout them (considering the publication date of 1966, that says something!). But, with regards to the actual action items I took from this, I only found myself getting interested in ...more
John Dobbin
Mar 17, 2014 John Dobbin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
A true business classic. Here is just one quote:

"Time is a unique resource. Of the other major resources, money is actually quite plentiful. We long ago should have learned that it is the demand for capital, rather than the supply thereof, which sets the limit to economic growth and activity. People -- the third limiting resources -- one can hire, though one can rarely hire enough good people. But one cannot rent, hire, buy, or otherwise obtain more time.

The supply of time is totally inelastic.
Apr 19, 2014 Berke rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Reading 'Effective Executive' reminded me of reading a long and dull textbook. I skimmed mostly because some parts seemed superfluous. For example the fourth chapter dealed with choosing people entirely for their strengths. It argued that people should not be just well-rounded. They should be distinguished in their respective fields(specialist) regardless of their shortcomings. It is the executive's job to make weaknesses irrelevant. However Drucker kept this chapter 29 pages when he could have ...more
Rajiv Bhattacharya
Aug 07, 2014 Rajiv Bhattacharya rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I have ever read on management. The quality which sets this apart from the barrage of management books I’ve read so far is that this book is realistic and gives precise guidance to executives ( especially those in the in knowledge economy) . Drucker’s style is fluid and easy to understand. The examples at times sound dated (Talking about management strategies in the 30s and 40s, military strategies in the world war etc). However, the concepts are explained well. Man ...more
John  Mihelic
Mar 12, 2016 John Mihelic rated it really liked it
The Effective Executive: Reading Drucker on Two Levels

Level One

I’m finishing up my MBA. It is mid-march, and I will graduate in May. Though I have learned a lot, much of what we learned in the classes is on the higher level. What has been specific has been subject-specific. There isn’t much about the self-help about the classes or the books. That’s where I have found Drucker useful for my own knowledge as an independent thing to study. This is the second book I have read by him, and there are a
Jan 01, 2011 Phayvanh rated it liked it
Shelves: advice, 2010
Great, informative piece that outlined his thinking in an easy-to-understand way. Some of the examples are a little outdated, and heavy on the military / political sphere. I skipped over some of those. All in all, I learned a lot about time management, and making the right decisions.
Ovi from nugget
May 23, 2016 Ovi from nugget rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peter Drucker: how to be an effective executive

The unexpected always happens. The unexpected is indeed the only thing one can confidently expect.

What will make you stand out from typical executives? Becoming an effective one.

Peter F. Drucker’s The Effective Executive is focused exactly on this topic, explaining how you can become a better executive for your business.

Leader. Boss. Manager. You’ll find plenty of books focused on these topics, complete with “how to do this” instructions....more
Jun 28, 2014 Ellen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Don't read a summary of this book, read the original. The language is dated, but the content remains powerful. I read it first because my boss told me to. I've read and underlined it many more times because I found it so useful.
Zaki Shaheen
Sep 09, 2013 Zaki Shaheen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Except for the last chapter on decision making, loved every bit of it. Mr. Drucker has a tendency to go off tangents and that is visible in a very chatty summary as well as the final chapter.
Apr 01, 2016 Vasily rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
A great and very simple book of a management and it’s tasks related to executive’s job. Some basics about executive’s mindset and one’s real tasks. The key idea behind the book is that effectiveness can be learnt and also must be learnt.

My personal very favourite idea was how interesting he has predicted the future of every knowledge worker who should be a manager oneself.

The book is definitely worth reading not only to every manager, but everyone who is working with knowledges and an executive
Oct 18, 2011 Jacque rated it it was ok
I find Drucker to be really repetitive. There were quite a few sentences that didn't really add anything, and should have been taken out.
Emmanuel Sibanda
Jul 31, 2015 Emmanuel Sibanda rated it really liked it
Over the years there has been a transition from the industrial age skilled worker market to a more knowledge based economy. Knowledge based employees; accountants, lawyers, doctors and investment bankers, use the knowledge they have acquired through formal education and training in the pursuit of their professions/trades. The problem with this is that unlike the skilled worker, it is very hard to determine the productivity of knowledge work. It is therefore extremely important that knowledge wor ...more
May 15, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book because it was one of Jeff Bezos' required reading for all of his executives at Amazon.

I really enjoyed this book. It is all about how to be more effective at your job, with a particular focus on executives and knowledge workers. I found that it contained a lot of material which I could relate to and, looking back, most of the ineffective people I've met did mostly the opposite of what this book recommends.

Following a tenth of the insights in this book will make you
Nov 24, 2012 Steven rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, american
1 of the best books for executives to read who want to make difference and get the right things done.
Jenny Zhou
May 22, 2016 Jenny Zhou rated it it was amazing
"To be effective is the job of the executive (aka "knowledge worker"). Effectiveness is the specific technology of the knowledge worker. The executive is expected to get the right things done. There seems to be little correlation between a person’s effectiveness and intelligence, imagination, or knowledge. Many brilliant people don’t realize that the brilliant insight is not by itself achievement; insights become effectiveness only through hard systematic work."

Great book, lots of wisdoms. Druck
Deborah Weiss
May 18, 2016 Deborah Weiss rated it liked it
I had heard so many Drucker quotes in my classes, so I was really excited to finally read one of his books. It was good...long, dry, common sensical...and good. I probably should re-read it later in my career and then I might appreciate what he compiled, however, I just feel like I've heard these things a million times. The truth is, I've probably heard these principles a million times because Drucker wrote about them in the 60s, so I should give him more credit. Way to be ahead of the curve, Dr ...more
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Peter Ferdinand Drucker was a writer, management consultant and university professor. His writing focused on management-related literature. Peter Drucker made famous the term knowledge worker and is thought to have unknowingly ushered in the knowledge economy, which effectively challenges Karl Marx's world-view of the political economy. George Orwell credits Peter Drucker as one of the only writer ...more
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“It is more productive to convert an opportunity into results than to solve a problem - which only restores the equilibrium of yesterday.” 12 likes
“Converting a decision into action requires answering several distinct questions: Who has to know of this decision? What action has to be taken? Who is to take it? And what does the action have to be so that the people who have to do it can do it? The first and the last of these are too often overlooked—with dire results.” 8 likes
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