Ultimately, leadership is all about ability to act on the ideas. In that sense, anyone who thinks of the self as a leader has to be good at executing things. Probably a reason why top leaders in organizations are referred to as executives – the one who executes, not just someone with a fancy title and corner office.
Leadership is a very broad term and leaders in organizations come in all shapes and sizes – from introverted to extraverted, charismatic to simple, people oriented versus task oriented and the differentiation goes on.
But Peter Drucker, whose work has played a defining role in my own growth as a manager and leader, identified eight practices of effective executive based on his observations over 65 years of his consulting career.
The June 2004 article by Peter Drucker in Harvard Business titled “What Makes an Effective Executive” is a must read, if you are a student of leadership.
Here’s a short snippet of 8 characteristics along with a quick sketch note.
What made them all effective is that they followed the same eight practices:
- They asked, “What needs to be done?”
- They asked, “What is right for the enterprise?”
- They developed action plans.
- They took responsibility for decisions.
- They took responsibility for communicating.
- They were focused on opportunities rather than problems.
- They ran productive meetings.
- They thought and said “we” rather than “I.”
The first two practices gave them the knowledge they needed. The next four helped them convert this knowledge into effective action. The last two ensured that the whole organization felt responsible and accountable.
– Peter Drucker, What Makes an Effective Executive
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