September 17, 2010

The Effective Executive


“In human affairs, the distance between the leaders and the average is constant.  If leadership performance is high, the average will go up.  The effective [leader] knows that it is easier to raise the performance of one leader than it is to raise the performance of a whole mass.” -Peter Drucker, The Effective Executive

Peter F. Drucker is one of the top business thinkers and executive coaches of the 20th century. He believes, and I agree with him, that people need to learn business and leadership skills, that they do not come naturally to people.  It is like learning to play the piano, if you have never played, you cannot expect to sit down and play a beautiful song.  Only through hard work can you play a beautiful song.  In this book he teaches us the tools to be an ‘effective executive’.

According to Drucker we know very little about self-development.  What we do know however, is that people grow according to the demands they make on themselves.  They grow according to what they consider achievement and attainment.  If they demand little of themselves, they will remain stunted.  If they demand a good deal of themselves, they will grow to giant stature – without any more effort than is expended by the non-achievers.

From my own experience, I know this to be true, except for the part about effort.  I think it does take more effort.  For me it required time reading, thinking, discussing one’s self-improvement.  It also requires the mental energy to get out of one’s comfort zone. The best way to improve the performance of your team is to lead by example.  Your high standard of performance will raise the bar for everyone.  It is very simple.  The key is whether you have the will.