Monday, December 07, 2009

Article of Interest: Wise Up

Around this time of year, we tend to reflect on all the things we did well (or in some instances -- not so well) to keep our business thriving during turbulent times. And one issue I constantly challenge myself on and wonder if you do too, is this: How effective have you been as a top executive?

The late Peter Drucker can help us address this question. As I was I straightening out my office this week, I stumbled upon a June 2004 edition of the Harvard Business Review and came across his classic article entitled, "What Makes An Effective Executive." I re-read it on the spot. It's a magnificent piece and one that is a must-read for anyone interested in becoming a more impactful leader, especially when we are readying up to face a brand new year.

The article begins like this:

"Great managers may be charismatic or dull, generous or tightfisted, visionary or numbers oriented. But every effective executive follows eight simple practices."

And the eight simple practices are as follows:
1. They asked, "What needs to be done?"
2. They asked, "What is right for the enterprise?"
3. They developed action plans.
4. The took responsibility for decisions.
5. They took responsibility for communicating.
6. They were focused on opportunities rather than problems.
7. They ran productive meetings.
8. They thought and said, "we" rather than "I."
Drucker throws in a bonus practice at the end of the article: "Listen first, speak last."

You can order an e-copy here.

In preparation for 2010, think about these eight best practices and how you might apply them as you grow your business. It only requires a healthy dose of discipline.

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