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Fellow Members,

Wow!!!

I have scanned through the Our (and Your) Favorite Books Section and cannot find a single direct reference by any member about this book!!!!

I recommend this book be read regularly, say every 12-18 months or so. Its simplicity is eerie in that it is relevant every time I read it. I have read it 3 times now, the last time some 8 weeks ago, and I continue to find relevance even though the context of my role has changed. The first times I read it, I focused more on use of my time and concentrating on getting the most important thing done. My last read resonated more towards the end, as I often agonize over the tough decisions...

p. 157 "There is no inherent reason why medicines should taste horrible - but effective ones usually do. Similarly, there is no inherent reason why decisions should be so distasteful - but most effective ones are."

p. 158 "Executives are not paid for doing things they like to do. They are paid for getting the right things done"

Digesting the above statements affirms the importance of doing O3s and giving feedback. The first provides an opportunity for my DRs to question my decisions and provides a human side to what often may seem incredulous to them. It sort of provides the water that allows them to swallow the medicine with me, i.e. the trust based our history together, that the future will be OK. The second allows us to stay focused on the road ahead, adjust and stay on target.

....and that is just my own interpretation based on my most recent read. Read it yourself and derive your own benefits.

Thanks to Mark and Mike for the book recommendation as well as the How-To.

tomw's picture

There may not be a direct mention on the website, but this book is mentioned about every third podcast in the series.

Mark is a HUGE fan of Drucker.

US41's picture

As am I. The effective executive is a large portion of the source material for Covey's Seven habits that everyone raves about. What's really hilarious is that you can find Effective Executive on Amazon.com used for around a buck usually. After reading it and following all of the advice, over the next years expect your income to go up by thousands from this small little inexpensive book written 40 years ago.

I also love The Practice of Management. It's like drinking from a fire hose.

jhack's picture

"The Effective Executive" is both deep and accessible, presenting profound insights in a casual style.

If you could read only one management book, this would be the one.

John

tomw's picture

[quote="US41"]After reading it and following all of the advice, over the next years expect your income to go up by thousands from this small little inexpensive book written 40 years ago[/quote]

I find similar experiences with some of the Harvard Business School articles. They seem really relevant and timely, then you find out they were written in 1981.

US41's picture

At first I was surprised that the greats of management said it all back in the 1950's and 1960's. Then, it occurred to me that what was said in those books is more than I could ever hope to wrap my brain around and execute on a daily basis, thus I guess it could be said that Drucker wrote more than any manager could do.

Mark's reading list is short for a reason. Read all of those books 12 times each and you still won't work with an eye to more than 50% of their recommendations no matter how hard you try.

I anticipate Mark's offering will be like standing on a beach after an asteroid hits the ocean. I've been through the effective manager conference five times now, and my head is still spinning with new ideas, realizations, and new awareness of areas I can strengthen.

JorrianGelink's picture

[quote="US41"]
I also love The Practice of Management. It's like drinking from a fire hose.[/quote]

I just purchased "The Practice of Management" last Sunday, we'll have to make a new forum topic on that book also!

November must be Drucker month on the Favorite Books Forum!

eagerApprentice's picture

This is my 2nd bible... it's covered in different colored inks, markers, etc.

I read it every few months, and make a point to do so - it's the shortest, most valuable management book I have. :)

actvlsnr's picture

I have begun my Drucker Journey based on the many references from M-T. I have begun with "The Essential Drucker" which is a compilation of his best writing from 13 of his books and HBR articles from 1954 thru 1999. I would highly recommend this to anyone new to drucker as it gives you insight into his brilliance and relevance.

Based in this tome I have decided to purchase and study his entire body of writing on Management and this will be my material for 2009.

The recent (2008) book "Inside Drucker`s Brain" by Jeffrey Krames seems very promising as well. I am tempred to skip to "Inside..." before diving into the collection. Any reviews of this new book?

Thanks, from China Mexico

JorrianGelink's picture

actvlsnr,

In a podcast "Cranky Middle Manager Show", Wayne interviewed the two heads of CEORead.com, there was a mention of "Inside Drucker's Brain" and how it was quite a strong book.

I have not read the book yet, but thought I would pass along that recommendation :).

Jorrian Gelink

scm2423's picture

I am having troubles reading Drucker's work. It seems dated. I don't mean the content but his writing style. It reminds me of having to read Dickens in my first year of university. It was hard to get through.

thaGUma's picture

Stick with it scm2423 after the first chapter or so you will get into it. It is worth the effort.

jhack's picture

It's a great book.

John

Mark's picture

Drucker's writing, believe it or not, is NOT dated.

It's just exceptionally good. It's tight. There's little fluff. There's no marketing. There are few tangents.

We've all just gotten used to poor writing, and confuse the style that is prevalent now that we decide to read as "good". In fact, most of it is not.

Many major American authors were asked recently to list the great novels of the 20th century. Over and over, the RUSSIAN authors - Tolstoy, Dostoyevski, Chekhov - were at the top of everyone's lists.

Hard reading, but so good as to be sublime.

Mark

RobRedmond's picture

I agree (as usual) with Mark. I just finished reading Ken Blanchard's "Gung Ho!" It is a cute and entertaining narrative about a plant manager discovering how to turn the rest of her plant into a model of her best department. Over the course of 180 pages, an outline emerges that is four pages long.

While it was "easy to read," there was not much of that reading that actually said anything I needed to know. At the end of the book was an outline and a chart that said it all, which was good stuff, but I would not consider the book well written.

His grammar and spelling are good. He tells a good story. His writing is missing one important quality: density.

People find Drucker difficult to read because reading five sentences leaves most managers scrambling to re-invent their entire approach. Most people are so far away from Drucker's recommendations that even reading a little of what he has written can cause your brain to go into overdrive coming up with creative approaches, new insights, new ideas, and ways to do everything differently. Couple that with his ability to write with high density, and you are left with books that scare many off.

However, if you read Drucker and take notes, pages and pages of them, and then review those notes at the beginning of the month in your "notes review," you will find if you read the same book of his again in the future it is not nearly as frightening. Especially once you have started managing strengths, using goals and performance measurements, holding O3's, etc.

I have been accused of using "old-fashioned style management" the more and more I implement Drucker-inspired concepts into my team. I think people might think his writing is dated because management has actually gotten worse instead of better.

My father was a Management Analyst with the Federal Government, a sort of Mark Horstman for Federal operations. When I learn something new and run it by him, he just laughs and talks about all of the studies and measurements they used to do to ensure that even the copier was positioned perfectly in the office.

$4,000.00 sounds like a lot to spend on copier placement, but he pointed out the man hours saved added up to that in a month very rapidly.

Neither he nor I know if the government still does this kind of thing (people think the government is wasteful!!!), but clearly old-fashioned management is just good management, and modern, hands-off management is something like a combination of denial and cowardice.

-Rob

stephenbooth_uk's picture

I also found "The Effective Executive" a very difficult read, it is very, very dense. It took me a month to read. I'd normally expect to be through a book that size (assuming I could concentrate on reading it, not have top break off for interruptions)in a day or less, maybe even a few hours.

I seem to recall Mark saying in one of the casts that even he cannot read "The Effective Executive" straight through in a single sitting. The ideas are so dense on the page and come in so thick and fast that the only way to read it is to break it down into manageable chunks to be read and digested before moving onto the next.

If you find Drucker tough going it may be worth getting one of those tear off "Daily Drucker" desk calendars, or the book "The Daily Drucker" (a collection of exerts from his many books). Each morning read that day's entry, and only that day's entry, then set aside a little time to think about it (maybe during your commute, whilst eating (assuming you're eating alone) or just block out 20 minutes. You'll still need to read the actual books at some point but at least this will get you used to Drucker's style of writing and give you an overview on which to hang your later reading.

Stephen

simonspeichert's picture

I'm reading The Effective Executive for the first time and am amazed at how long it's taking me. Like Mark says, a paragraph of Drucker is akin to a chapter for every other writer. I end up reading excerpts to my wife every few pages. If I could buy a case of copies and give them to everyone I know, I would.

hchan's picture

I read the book during lunch, or if I have lunch appointment, then I take a "coffee break". As everyone said, the book is so quality-densed that you don't want to read too much at a sitting. Reading in chunks like that allow me to think it through. The plus side is that I can go back to work and apply the new ideas right away.

I actually don't own the book (plenty in the library), but now am thinking of getting one of my own. And am intersted in one other like Essential Drucker -- or may be the Inside Drucker's Brain mentioned above. Would love to see the review on that.

uwavegeek's picture

Has anyone tried this workbook out yet? Seems a good companion book.

MrPl0d's picture

Hi,

It's worth kicking this post back into life again so that I can share this Drucker gem with you; here

I don't think you can be a Manager Tools fan and not also be a Drucker fan and I can't agree more than with this paragraph from Rob (above)

"People find Drucker difficult to read because reading five sentences leaves most managers scrambling to re-invent their entire approach. Most people are so far away from Drucker's recommendations that even reading a little of what he has written can cause your brain to go into overdrive coming up with creative approaches, new insights, new ideas, and ways to do everything differently. Couple that with his ability to write with high density, and you are left with books that scare many off."

The article I linked is from 1967 and apart from getting the demise of International Shipping wrong he is pretty much on the money.

Take the sentence; "Now, psychology tells us that the one sure way to shut off all perception is to flood the senses with stimuli. That’s why the manager with reams of computer output on his desk is hopelessly uninformed."

and replace the terms "reams of computer output on his desk" with "density of data on his powerpoints" and you get the modern version of hopelessly uninformed.

Read and enjoy.

Cheers

Stephen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MironB's picture

First time reader.
Just started Effective Executive at the beginning of last week and I'm 19% through it.
Kindle tells me the percentage.

 

Honestly I have to reread almost every page to really let it sink in.

Appreciate the recommendation!

Brian Suyat's picture

Here is my Book Report onThe Effective Executive in PREZI format.

http://prezi.com/zk7s3hsc_xxl/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

 

kimball's picture

I started reading the Effective Executive and so far have found it quite dated and sexist. As the only woman on my team, and in an organization with few women in leadership roles, I've found it deflating and disheartening. Should I keep reading? 

Smacquarrie's picture

Kimball,

While much of it is a little dated, the general comments and ideas still remain true. 

Understand how it applies to you specifically instead of trying to pull it apart because it says "he" instead of "she". 

Much of the book talks about behaviors to garner in yourself and others as you develop for the next stage. 

Mac

kimball's picture

Thanks, Mac. It was definitely jarring at the start. I've continued reading and have been enjoying it. I just needed to allow myself to ignore it.

justakim's picture

This book was so amazing. So many lovely quotable sections that so clearly and succinctly explain lots of huge ideas! Makes a great gift to people not in your office.