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James Merritt PhD is a pastor, author, and host of the Touching Lives television program, seen nationwide and in countries. He resides with his family outside Atlanta, G James Merritt PhD is a pastor, author, and host of the Touching Lives television program, seen nationwide and in countries.
He resides with his family outside Atlanta, Georgia. Books by James Merritt. Trivia About How to Impact and No trivia or quizzes yet. But he or she must learn, in the midst of multiple demands, to give priority, and the necessary amount of time and focus, to the important rather than to the urgent. It means that everybody moves in on your time. Everybody wants time from you. There is always more work to be done than [there are] hours in a day. And everything always takes so much longer than it should.
And then twice as long as the boss thinks it should. And there is a difference in the way effective executives use their time and in the way that most of us do. The important thing is that you know how many hours you really have and where they are going. Everything may just not be really as important as some things are.
Do you really know how much solid time you give to activities that really deserve it? Drucker, transcript of videotape series, His meditations, and their modern variations and secular adaptations, provide a tool for analyzing our performance from time to time by comparing results with our expectations. It is a tool that can be used to determine our strengths, and the areas in which we are likely to make our greatest contribution. These are the areas to which we should consider allocating our time.
Take your time making these decisions because if you make a mistake you will spend a long time regretting and undoing it! I use a little pamphlet, The Tyranny of the Urgent11 by Charles Hummel, as a reminder of the difference between urgent and important tasks. While I have had success with this specific approach for time management, consider placing your own prompts in key places where requests on your time come in, and form a habit of pausing to distinguish between the important and the urgent demands on your time.
Drucker used feedback analysis to help him make decisions about how to allocate his life, including decisions about what he wanted to be remembered for. What do you want to be remembered for? The answer will give your life focus and purpose. The tendency to avoid the question is great, especially as we become absorbed in day-to-day activity.
Crises play a major role in helping us stop and come to grips with the question but you do not need a crisis to do so. I have found the first few days of a new year are a good time to ask the question. But if you have not already answered it, why not try to answer the question now? They recognize and take into account the trade-offs. For example, it is easy to reduce research and development and employee development allowances in times when meeting short-term profit goals is in jeopardy.
But if you do this, make sure you restore the resources and activities as soon as possible to maintain the innovation, knowledge, and skill levels you will need to successfully compete in the future. Restoring the funds will help to keep your strategic plan intact. And this is the essence of strategic planning—making resource allocation decisions today that will affect the future. It requires deliberately allocating people and funds to projects that are directed toward securing the future of your organization.
Yet short-term results are necessary, and this necessity may require you to make trade-offs between short-term and long-term results. If the trade-off is acceptable, then the decision is right. If not, resource allocation between the present and the future must be rethought until the trade-off is appropriate. She is trying to recover past losses before focusing on future products and services: Read There are both short-term and long-term missions [and they] have to be compatible.
But when you look at some modern organizations—for example, here is a very able woman who just took over for Hewlett— Packard. She wrote a short-term and a long-term mission for Hewlett— Packard when she took over, but the two missions are not compatible. She knows it by the way. She is very bright. The basic value, she says, is that first, we have to regain what we have lost in the past, and then build for the future [italics mine]. By the way, this old consultant said then and often before that it never works.
You have to have results in the short term and you have to have results in the long term. So you have to have short-term and long-term missions and the two have to be compatible.
The reason for The One Minute Leader is There is a difference between a leader and a manager. I found there is plenty of managerial training But on Leadership. The One Minute Leader: 52 Weeks To Success. by Dr. M. L. Nichols. Book condition: New. Book Description. New. Ships with.
And yet they are often different. When making these trade-offs, executives should know the costs imposed on the long term by short-term actions. The first is creation of a true whole that is larger than the sum of its parts, a productive entity that turns out more than the sum of the resources put into it. A manager cannot sacrifice either without endangering the enterprise. If a manager does not take care of the next hundred days, there will be no next hundred years. Whatever the manager does should be sound in expediency as well as in basic long-range objective and principle.
And where he cannot harmonize the two time dimensions, he must at least balance them. He must calculate the sacrifice he imposes on the long-range future of the enterprise to protect its immediate interests, or the sacrifice he makes today for the sake of tomorrow. He must limit either sacrifice as much as possible. And he must repair as soon as possible the damage it inflicts. He lives and acts in two time dimensions, and is responsible for the performance of the whole enterprise and of his own component in it.
Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices, , , chap. Today is always the result of actions and decisions taken yesterday. Man, however, whatever his title or rank, cannot foresee the future. Drucker, The Effective Executive, , pp. It needs short-range efforts and very often short-range results.
And it starts out with a long-range objective. Eternity is not being reached by small steps. Do is the critical word. We have had some amazingly successful long-term companies. They all started out with a very clear long-range concept. Drucker, Managing the Non-Profit Organization: Principles and Practices, , p. Are the short-term and long-term objectives in your mission statement compatible? Does your organization focus most of its time and effort on problems related to past decisions? How can you free up some of your time and resources to focus on opportunities that serve the future of your unit?
The letter contains principles of effectiveness and a personal work plan for Bob himself. The first topic is the cornerstone of personal effectiveness, concentration of effort—a key practice in getting the right things done and therefore a key practice for personal effectiveness. Read How should you define the specific pieces of work to be tackled?
And how should you define what not to do? Should you be willing to admit everyone who wants your services and who needs them? Or should you focus on targets of opportunity only? I think you know that I consider these to be important questions. You, I submit, are likely to have more customers than you can possibly satisfy and very soon. In other words, you will have such a tough time satisfying the demands on you, that there is no point in splintering your very scarce resources. But also the need is in the large congregation [the pastoral church]12 and that is where you can make a real contribution.
The small congregation basically does not need what you have to offer and will not be able to use it until it has become quite large. I foresee, and in the not too distant future, the possibility of your converting a lot of your experience into manuals, courses, books, and so on, which the small church then can use effectively.
And then, needless to say, I foresee that one does some piloting— though not necessarily as part of the work of your Foundation. But your work, I would argue, should, for the foreseeable future, be focused on the large church and should therefore exclude, or at least discourage, others. You pointed out that very much the same problems exist throughout the public service sector. Actually, I would say that quite a few public service institutions would need what you are offering just as badly as the large [pastoral] churches, and perhaps more so.
Drucker, selected passages from correspondence with Robert Buford, September 22, Economic results require that managers concentrate their efforts on the smallest number of products, product lines, services, customers, markets, distributive channels, end uses, and so on that will produce the largest amount of revenue. Managers must minimize the amount of attention devoted to products that produce primarily costs because, for instance, their volume is too small or splintered.
Economic results require that staff efforts be concentrated upon the few activities that are capable of producing significant business results. Finally, human resources must be concentrated on a few major opportunities. This is particularly true for high-grade human resources through which knowledge becomes effective in work. And above all it is true of the scarcest, most expensive, but also potentially most effective of all human resources in a business: Drucker, Managing for Results, , pp.
So knowing your purpose allows concentration. You know when you take a light that is unfocused it has no power at all, but if you take a magnifying glass and focus that light on a piece of grass you can burn it. If you want your life to count, if you want your organization to count, the secret is focus, focus with your life. Do a few things well. And the first rule for the concentration of executive efforts is to slough off the past that has ceased to be productive.
The first-class resources, especially those scarce resources of human strength, are immediately pulled out and put to work on the opportunities of tomorrow. If leaders are unable to slough off yesterday, to abandon yesterday, they simply will not be able to create tomorrow. Without systematic and purposeful abandonment, an organization will be overtaken by events.
It will squander its best resources on things it should never have been doing or should no longer do. As a result, it will lack the resources, especially capable people, needed to exploit the opportunities that arise. Far too few businesses are willing to slough off yesterday, and as a result, far too few have resources available for tomorrow. What are those areas in your work and life in which you have high competence and skill? You and your organization are likely to be overtaken by future events, unless you practice systematic abandonment of old products, programs, and processes, and redirect your activities and resources to programs and activities that have high potential impact.
Changes in trends are much more important than existing trends in spotting opportunities for creating a new and better future for your organization. Think about creating tomorrow by focusing on changes in trends rather than on just the current trends affecting your organization. Once your primary opportunities have been converted to right results, think through how these efforts can be adapted to other opportunities or markets.
For a given day, week, month, year, etc. Therefore, we should attempt to plan our time, making sure that our most important tasks are done first, and—as much as possible—resist pressures to engage in multitasking. Both empirical evidence and common practice confirm that multitasking reduces our overall effectiveness. In other words, we should plan our time, since it is our most limiting factor, and we should fit our tasks into our available time.
Should we bypass unexpected opportunities because we have no time for them? Or, should we evaluate promising new opportunities as they occur and decide on the basis of their merits to take or reject them? If we want to accept an unexpected new opportunity, we must decide what to abandon or delegate, for if we keep adding new opportunities we will surely jeopardize our effectiveness and perhaps jeopardize our well-being. The readings, reflections, and prompts in this entry teach us how to manage our time to achieve overall effectiveness in our work. Andy Grove I get my nose into a new activity; I spend some amount of time on it.
I find that I put pressure on my time. At some point I find that something has to go. I begin to scan what I do. I look for activities that I participate in that I could stop participating in. For example, I changed our management meeting from one each week to one each two weeks. In every case the pressure is around time. I look at what I do. Should I still be doing it? Am I doing it well? Am I adding enough value to what I am doing?
Is it more worthwhile or less worthwhile than something else? I negotiate with myself. They should embrace opportunities as these arise and use one or more of the above practices to make time for the new opportunities. Each task involves decision making and tools of executive effectiveness.
But most executives spend a fair amount of their time on tasks that usually are not considered to be among these. These are important tasks, and although some of them are purely ceremonial, they have to be done well and usually cannot be delegated. They are people of tremendous energy. And they all get an enormous amount done in a very short time. Still the demands on them are growing faster than their time and energy allow.
This is surely just as true of the pastor as it is of the surgeon or the lawyer. Which of these men have successfully handled this and how? Is it simply a matter of setting aside time? Drucker, correspondence with Robert Buford, September 22, Strong subordinates help executives fulfill their own responsibilities. And giving subordinates expanded responsibility helps to develop them.
Abraham Lincoln selected as cabinet members four of his opponents for the Republican nomination for president in At least two of them, William H. Seward and Salmon P. Chase, on the basis of formal qualifications, including education and experience, were more qualified for the presidency than Lincoln. Yet Lincoln knew he was dealing with very serious problems and needed to assemble the most talented team available to help him carry out his responsibilities. Misleaders are, they always go in for purges. But an effective leader wants strong associates, he encourages them, pushes them, indeed glories in them.
Because he holds himself as ultimately responsible for the mistakes of his associates and subordinates, he also sees the triumphs of his associates as his triumphs, rather than as threats. Or he may be personally humble— both Lincoln and Truman were so almost to the point of having inferiority complexes. But all three wanted able, independent, self- assured people around them, they encouraged their subordinates, praising and promoting them. So did a very different person: Drucker, The Essential Drucker, , pp. Reinforcement of mission and values has to be done a number of times each year by the people in charge of an organization.
When I was in my final high school years, our excellent history teacher—himself a badly wounded war veteran—told each of us to pick several of a whole spate of history books on World War I, and write a major essay on our selections. Practicum-Prompts Are demands on you growing faster than your time allows? Can you delegate some activities? Can you abandon some? Can you change the frequency of performing others? Can you get relief from your superior? Andy Grove, who was a very effective CEO of a large public company, explained that he set his priorities by putting pressure on his time.
As new opportunities arose that required his time, he identified other activities that he should either abandon or delegate to others. Do not delegate standard-setting activities. And lead by example on these most important activities. Select subordinates on the basis of their strengths. Do not be afraid of selecting strong subordinates.
They will help you fulfill your responsibilities. We tend to learn by teaching others. When we develop others we simultaneously develop ourselves because we have to figure out how to raise the capacity of the people we are trying to develop—which is a stretching exercise. Who should you reach out and help develop? Humility is not a problematic personality trait in achieving executive effectiveness. Are you a humble person? Is your humility creating an inferiority complex? What steps can you take to retain your humility while shedding any sense of inferiority?
For this reason it will be what I call an information-based organization. The lead physician coordinates information flow among specialists and manages patient care with the assistance of nurses. The conductor communicates to different musicians who are all directed to perform according to the musical score. Both the modern hospital and the modern symphony orchestra are examples of typical information-based or knowledge organizations. They are flat and rely for their effectiveness on a multitude of specialists who must communicate with one another. This is the role of the executive in the knowledge society.
Executives must make sure that they can analyze data effectively, and that these data are communicated to members of the organization who need the information if they are to be effective. An example from a very successful college basketball coach, Brad Stevens, clearly illustrates each of these requirements. When asked how he uses the data he and his staff collect, he describes the process as follows: I first break down all of the statistics that I can on opponents to try to get my mind wrapped around what their trends are.
You can look at offensive-rebound percentages. How teams shoot against them. What they defend well. What they try to defend well. He is observant of the most recent trends. In addition, the most important part of the job is getting his players to understand the information and to act on it. If his players do not understand and act on the information, it is worthless.
So too in the management of all knowledge-based organizations, and that is why Drucker stresses the need for effective communications between those needing information to perform and those who possess the information others need. Brad Stevens provides us with the simplest complete example of how the knowledge organization is based on information, information literacy, and information responsibility. A man in the hot air balloon gets lost over Kansas, or Iowa, has no idea where he is or where he is going, he does not see anybody, nothing but grass.
Finally, he sees a woman down in a field. And in what form? And in what time frame? But they are different. What I owe comes first because it establishes communications. And unless that has been established there can be no information flow. Revised Edition, , p. How do we tell the difference?
True information is those data that are important to the solution of specific problems faced by the organization. Before events become significant, executives have already adjusted to them, analyzed them, understood them and taken appropriate action. One example [is] the very few American financial institutions that, in the late s, were not surprised by the [financial] collapse of mainland Asia.
Long before these ratios turned so unfavorable as to make a panic in mainland Asia inevitable, these executives had realized that it was coming. They realized that they had to decide whether to pull out of these countries for short-term growth, or to stay for the very long term. They had, in other words, realized what economic data are meaningful in respect to emerging countries, had organized them, had analyzed them and had interpreted them.
They had turned the data into information—and had decided what action to take long before that action became necessary. For example, the discipline of Sabermetrics, developed in by historian and statistician Bill James, involves the application of data analysis to the evaluation of professional talent in baseball and basketball, and to a lesser extent football. The Oakland Athletics in under General Manager Billy Beane hired Paul DePodesta, a economics graduate of Harvard University, to apply data analytics to evaluate and select talent in order to exploit market inefficiencies and compete more successfully with the larger-market baseball teams.
Sabermetrics is now widely used in professional baseball and basketball. Therefore, we can predict that data systems similar to Statcast will be used in industries outside of professional sports. For strategy, we need organized information about the environment. For that is where results are. Inside an organization there are only cost centers. The only profit center is a customer whose check has not bounced.
It is always with noncustomers that basic changes begin and become significant. Drucker, Management Challenges for the 21st Century, , p. Practicum-Prompts The first step in moving from data to information literacy is for you to ask and answer two specific questions: What external, internal, and cross- organizational information does my organization need?
What information do I need to be effective in my position? Identify the key variables for your organization in the environment in which you operate. Develop a system for keeping track of them. Focus data on the information needed for decision making. Eliminate data that do not pertain to the information you need. Organize, analyze, and interpret the data you do need so that they become true information.
Test the database and information derived from it for effectiveness by asking: I then elaborate on these recommendations. My commentary is based on the internal operations of one of the excellent social sector boards Drucker referred to, but did not describe, in his article in the Harvard Business Review.
The emphasis on charisma drew his ire. He was fearful of it because of his early experiences with charismatic leaders who were toxic or misleaders. Yet in his work with social sector executives, he encountered a number of very effective executives who were often charismatic leaders. So it was not charisma per se that he so vehemently opposed, but the kind of charisma that leads subordinates to yield their judgment and will in all matters to the leader. This to him was immoral. There also is little question that Drucker realized that there is a distinction between leadership and management: Drucker was quite sure we could teach people how to be effective executives but less sure that we could teach people to be leaders.
But by creating organizations with a high spirit of performance, we could create the climate in which leaders could develop and emerge.
Nothing better prepares the ground for such leadership than a spirit of management that confirms in the day-to-day practices of the organization strict principles of conduct and responsibility, high standards of performance, and respect for individuals and their work. Drucker also had great difficulty, which he never overcame, with what he believed were nonperforming boards of directors in business.
In a powerful early article published in the Wharton Magazine Fall , and included in chapter 7 of his Towards the Next Economics and Other Essays reissued in by Harvard Business School Publishing , there is a tongue-in-cheek advertisement that he wrote, recruiting a board member for a private corporation p. Major Multibillion dollar corporation seeks professional member on board of directors. We have a job enrichment plan to convert position from rubber stamping to active policy-making.
Requires 40—50 days per year intensive work. Corporation Presidents and attorneys need not apply. Drucker goes on to say that the advertisement reflects what he would like to see candidates consider before they apply for a position on a board of directors.
Needless to say, he thought corporate boards were critical to the performance of any institution but were as a group underperforming in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Testimony to his assessment is the frequency of scandals that have beset American corporations leading up to the AIG economic meltdown of and its disruptive effects on economies and societies worldwide. A leading authority in corporate governance, Robert A. Monks, in a letter of June 2, , to Jonathan G. Whenever an institution malfunctions as consistently as boards of directors have in nearly every major fiasco of the last forty or fifty years it is futile to blame men.
It is the institution that malfunctions. The obvious answer is usually wrong. A common tendency is to develop a statement that looks good, but is not operational. It becomes a motto mission. If opportunities do not exist, an organization is wasting its resources. Decision-making takes courage as well as intelligence. Not everyone is constituted to make tough decisions. But everyone can learn effectiveness for her position. Nor is a charismatic personality.
There is an enormous amount of talk about it, and an enormous number of books [are] written on the charismatic leader. But the desire for charisma is a political death wish. No century has seen more leaders with more charisma than the twentieth century, and never have political leaders done greater damage than the four giant leaders of the twentieth century—Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, and Mao. What matters is not charisma. What matters is [that] the leader leads in the right direction or misleads.
The constructive achievements of the twentieth century were the work of completely uncharismatic people. Both were highly disciplined, highly competent, and deadly dull.
Focus data on the information needed for decision making. That's a lunch break, a little bit at night, maybe reading a bit on the train on the way to work, etc. And he must repair as soon as possible the damage it inflicts. Otherwise, Egypt would be the Japan of today. Bob and his assistant Derek Bell provided me with available source materials, CDs, and transcripts in , and Bob encouraged me to engage in the research necessary to write this book. The board also monitors performance of the CEO and other top executives and is the legal agent of owners of the organization. He managed it by maintaining a detailed calendar of activities and projects that he and his wife, Doris, worked together to prioritize and carry out.
Perhaps the greatest cause for hope [and] for optimism is that to the new majority, the knowledge workers, the old politics make no sense at all. But proven competence does [make sense]. Effective leaders and executives make effective decisions. They follow a disciplined process, first defining the problem they face. If the problem is not defined properly, there is no way to tell if a decision moves one closer to a solution to the real problem.
The situation is similar to that of a physician who is trained in diagnosis. If he or she diagnoses a problem incorrectly, the prescribed remedy will fail to cure the patient, and the physician will not learn anything from the process. The feedback from diagnosis to results does not provide any help in getting closer to the cure.
For this reason, Drucker insisted that executives first correctly define the problem they are facing. For a decision to be an effective decision, what purposes must it fulfill, and what is the range within which acceptable solutions must fall? Revised Edition , Case 35, pp. Nakamura produced lacquerware such as tableware, including dishes.
The two offers, however, were very different and difficult to compare. National China 1 Three-year contract for , sets per year. The second offer came almost immediately and was from SSW, a U. SSW SSW believed the market in the United States was at least , sets a year, with an even larger potential—of a couple of million sets per year after five years—but it offered no firm orders. The first 20 percent on all sales would be used to pay for introduction and promotion expenses and the Nakamura brand would be established in the United States.
It must be adequate to its purpose. What objectives must the decision achieve? In other words, under what circumstances does each alternative make sense? The first proposal involves immediate profit, no risk, and no capital outlays for Nakamura, assuming it has excess capacity and no plans to expand into the United States.
Nakamura must answer the following questions to decide whether to accept the first or second offer or to reject both offers: The first offer gives Nakamura immediate profits but does not establish its brand name in the United States. There is a risk of losing the U. S market again if National China switches suppliers after three years. National China is the right decision if Nakamura wants to eventually expand in Japan and needs capital to do so.
The second offer, from SSW, means no profit for some time but also no capital investment assuming excess capacity currently exists and no risk. This decision is right if Nakamura wants to become a global company by expanding in the United States. Nakamura currently has no basis for making a decision between these two alternatives because he has not thought through his objectives. If he wants to expand abroad, a choice between the two would be easy. And if he merely wants to remain domestic, a decision between the two would be easy. It all depends on his definition of the problem he is facing and thus the appropriate conditions that have to be met for this decision to be effective.
These are always the two critical issues in decision making. They do have legal, fiduciary responsibility for the public corporation, and for the nonprofit organization they serve. Without a functioning board an organization will almost certainly underperform. Typically, the board appoints the CEO and is actively engaged in reviewing and approving major strategic initiatives. The board also monitors performance of the CEO and other top executives and is the legal agent of owners of the organization.
Reading 4 provides a summary of the functions of the board. It needs people who are not part of top management but who are available to it, and who can act with knowledge and decision in a crisis. Somebody has to make sure that objectives are being set and strategies are being developed. Somebody has to look critically at the planning of the company, its capital-investment policy, and its managed-expenditures budget. Somebody has to monitor people decisions and organization problems. The board also meets an important top management need.
It is an informed, intelligent outsider to talk and confer with. Having someone to talk to is especially important in a small company where top management otherwise tends to be isolated. Small-company managements, without easy, continuous access to outside advisors, such as experienced lawyers and consultants, need to have available a few people who are experienced, and who are still part of the company. Small-company top managements need, therefore, a true board of directors—yet small companies, as a rule, have even less of a functioning board than the large ones.
But only a weak top management is afraid of it. No society can tolerate top-management incompetence in its large businesses. If top managements do not build boards that will remove weak and incompetent chief executives, government will take over the job. There is another alternative: They aim at companies that are not living up to their potential, companies the top managements of which did not perform adequately. The need is readily apparent for the big company, of course. But it may be even greater for the small or fair-sized company which is a major employer in a small or medium-sized community.
The modern enterprise has many constituencies. The shareholders are one. But they are no longer the one, as traditional legal theory has it. There are also the communities where a major company has its plants. There are consumers, suppliers, and distributors. All of them need to know what goes on in a major business, what its problems, its policies, and its plans are. The business needs to be understood by them. Top management needs to be known by them, respected by them, accepted by them. Top management needs even more, perhaps, to understand what these constituencies want, understand, misunderstand, see, question.
A board involving these different constituencies could serve this two-way public relations need. Make realistic to-do lists. Choose three major tasks to focus on for the day and add other tasks as they pop up throughout the day to a separate list, readjusting your priorities throughout the day if required. Once you knock off the first three items, choose your next three priorities from your lengthier list. By Lisa Evans 3 minute Read. Design This AI can see in total darkness Co. Work Life Work Life Why being a manager is a career change, not a promotion Work Life This is what you need to do to overcome negative self-talk Work Life Are you making one of these 4 common business writing mistakes?