Can Effectiveness Be Learned?
We learn from Peter Drucker’s Effective Executive that there is no “effective personality.” What all effective executives have in common is the practices that make effective whatever they have and whatever they are. These practices are the same, regardless of what they do/industry or job wise.
What is a practice? Think about playing sports while growing up. You ran drills, swam laps, shoot hoops OVER AND OVER AGAIN. It was brutal.
Effectiveness is a habit, a complex set of practices. Practices can always be learned. They have to be acquired, repeated, until it has become unthinkable, a conditioned reflex, an ingrained habit. Practices one learns by practicing and practicing and practicing.
There are five habits that need to be acquired to be effective:
- Know where your time goes. Work systematically at managing the little of their time that can be brought under their control.
- Focus on outward contribution. They gear their efforts to results. They start out with the question, “what results are expected of me?”
- Build on strengths…their own strengths and the strengths of those around them. They do not start out with things they cannot do. They do not build on weaknesses.
- Concentrate on the few major areas where superior performance will produce outstanding results. They force themselves to set priorities and stay with their priority decisions. They do the first things first, and the second things not at all.
- Make effective decisions. This is a matter of systems…of the right steps in the right sequence.