11. October 2022

10 lessons from Peter Drucker by Jim Collins

In a transformation, it’s critical to be a highly effective leader. I liked the 10 lessons from the book ‘The Effective Executive’ by Peter Drucker as Jim Collins defined them in an article.

  1. Manage thyself.
    Raise your own standards first. Drucker explains that the ratio between the leader’s performance and that of the team is constant. If you want to improve your team’s performance, you must first improve your own performance.

  2. Do what you’re made for.
    Build on your strengths. Your task is to figure out your distinctive competencies and navigate your career around that. Do what you’re made for, and invest in that area to improve it.

  3. Work how you work best.
    Every person is wired differently as to how they perform best. Some are morning people, others night owls. Some are introverts and need alone time, others thrive in a team environment. Only you can shape your schedule that makes you perform at your best.

  4. Count your time, and make it count.
    Measure and manage your time. The “secret” of people who accomplish numerous difficult tasks is that they do one thing at a time and refuse to get lost in distracting activities. Define 3 time blocks: unbroken blocks of time for individual thoughts, unstructured blocks of time for people and unexpected things, and time to engage in relevant events and decisions.

  5. Prepare better meetings.
    Have your recipe for effective meetings. There are many recipes, but there are two common elements: preparation with a clear purpose in mind, and disciplined follow-up. Limit meetings to which are most useful. If meetings dominate your time, that’s a red flag.

  6. Make 1 key decision, not 100 small ones.
    There is an overhead cost to any decision. It requires argument and debate, time for reflection, concentration, and energy to secure execution. There is a lot of noise about issues, opportunities, etc. Focus on a few decisions that matter.

  7. Find your one distinctive impact.
    Determine the one big thing that would contribute most to your organization, regardless of getting credits for it.

  8. Stop what you would not start.
    An expanding to-do list without an expanding not-to-do list is a lack of discipline. Pivot from the past to the future, create a look ahead, and always ask, “What’s next?”. Don’t spend your energy on too many secondary issues and activities.

  9. Run lean.
    As an organization grows energy goes into managing internal mass rather than contributing to the outside world. A single person’s accomplishment in a key seat can dwarf the combined accomplishment of dividing the seat among multiple B-players. Reduce activity inside and focus on the outside.

  10. Be useful.
    Don’t spend time and energy wondering how to survive or succeed. Ask how to be useful. What positive difference are you making for others?

Which of these 10 lessons resonate most with you?

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