The best definition of the role of CEO was written in 1966 by the legendary management guru Peter Drucker in his book The Effective Executive. I used this book to guide my own tenure as a CEO for more than two decades and handed this book out to my management team, many of whom have gone on to be successful CEO’s.
My Leadership Journey
In my 20’s I was burning the candle at both ends— running a business, an Alaskan government leader and trying to change the world. A mentor gave me Drucker’s book. The message to focus on be effectiveness not on being more efficient resonated with me as I had concluded there were not enough hours in the day and I could see burnout in the morning mirror. Over the decades I kept coming back to the the lessons Drucker had enumerated from his study of Executives.
The Most Effective Habits of Executives
“The Effective Executive” focuses on managing oneself for effectiveness. Getting “the right things done..” is the mission of the executive. Drucker observed and studied executives in action and enumerated the most effective shared habits:
The overworked and frustrated executive will find direction and solutions in the 174 pages of "The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done", Peter F. Drucker, 1966.
Terry Gardiner is the founder of the Best Practices Wiki, a free public repository of best practices for small businesses and nonprofits. He has four decades of hands-on leadership, management and organizational growth experience in business, government and nonprofits. He is the author of Six-Word Lessons to Build Effective Leaders.