Effectiveness is one of the key abilities of high performing leaders. In his book The Effective Executive, author Peter F. Drucker states, “Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge are essential resources, but only effectiveness converts them into results.” Unlike efficiency, which means getting things done right, effectiveness is getting the right things done.
Effective leaders have a clear vision and know what steps to take to achieve that vision. Furthermore, they demonstrate a unique ability to gather the right people around that vision and inspire them to be their best. Contrary to common belief, leaders aren’t born effective – they become effective.
In The Effective Executive Peter F. Drucker explores the key habits leaders cultivate to become effective and successful. Here is what they do differently.
Effective leaders value their time and manage it well
“Effective leaders start with their time. And they do not start out with planning. They start by finding out where their time actually goes. Then they attempt to manage their time and to cut back unproductive demands on their time.”
Effective leaders, first of all, learn how to manage themselves
“That one can truly manage other people is by no means adequately proven. But one can always manage one’s self. Indeed, leaders who do not manage themselves for effectiveness cannot possibly expect to manage their associates and subordinates. Management is largely by example.”
Effective leaders put a strong focus on contribution
“The focus on contribution is the key to effectiveness: in a man’s own work – its content, its level, its standards, and its impacts; in his relations with others – his superiors, his associates, his subordinates; in his use of the tools of the executive such as meetings or reports.
Leader who focuses on contribution also stimulates others to develop themselves, whether they are subordinates, colleagues, or superiors.”
Effective leaders capitalize on their strength
“Effective leaders build on strength – their own strength, the strengths of their superiors, colleagues, and subordinates; and on the strengths in the situation, that is, what they can do. They do not build on weakness. They do not start out with the things they cannot do.”
Effective leaders recognize the power of concentration
“If there is any one “secret” of effectiveness, it is concentration. Effective leaders do first things first and they do one thing at a time.”
Effective leaders recognize the importance of “conflict of opinions” when it comes to making decisions
“No matter how high his emotions run, no matter how certain he is that the other side is completely wrong and has no case at all, leader who wants to make the right decision forces himself to see opposition as his means to think through alternatives. He uses conflict of opinion as his tool to make sure all major aspects of an important matter are looked at carefully.”
Written by Natalie Myhalnytska