Everyone is a leader. The first and most important person we each lead is ourselves. Those who lead themselves well often end up leading others. To lead others well you must learn how to identify and bolster the strengths of those you lead. In the Effective Executive, Drucker address the concept of leading others well by recognizing and developing the strengths they posses.
When leading people in your organization in such a way that you develop their strengths Drucker prescribes four basic rules.
1. Create a job that can be done. Far to many organizations and churches create a job that only a genius can fill and only a savant can accomplish. We want the perfect person sometimes to our own fault.
Drucker says He knows that the test of organization is not genius. It is its capacity to make common people achieve uncommon performance.
Drucker, Peter F. (2009-10-06). The Effective Executive (Harperbusiness Essentials) (p. 80). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
2. The job needs to be demanding and big. This does not contradict point one but is a further clarification of it. If you want uncommon people to do uncommon things to use and develop their strengths that will only happen through intentional clarity. You don’t grow someones strengths by being vague and grandiose but by creating a position that forces them to grow and learn in the confines of organizational and positional clarity.
One of the biggest mistakes leaders can make is to wait to be told something. You will never affect change by waiting for change to happen to you. When leaders do decided to do something what they ask often is “What do you want me to do?” If you want to grow in your ability to lead others don’t ask “what do you want me to do?” Ask “What can I contribute?”
Executives who do not ask themselves, “What can i contribute?” are not only likely to aim too low, they are likely to aim at the wrong things. Above all, they may define their contribution too narrowly. – Peter Drucker
Jim Collins writes in his introduction to Drucker’s classic text Management. He writes:
Business and social entrepreneur Bob Buford once observed that Drucker contributed as much to the triumph of free society as any other individual. I agree. For free society to function we must have high-performing, self-governed institution in every sector, not just in business, but equally in the social sectors. Without that, as Drucker himself pointed out, the only workable alternative is totalitarian tyranny. Strong institutions, in turn, depend directly on excellent management….and no individual had a greater impact on the practice of management and no single book captures its essence better than his seminal text, Management.
One of the books I try to read every year is “The Effective Executive” By Peter Drucker it’s a classic. Everytime I read it I am challenged afresh. I am actually in the middle of a blog series where I blogging about each chapter in the Effective Executive. I have always felt that it lacked something as I find with most productivity books they stop short. They make the chief goal of productivity to be more time, money or energy for you. When you come to understand the gospel you understand that the chief goal in life is not me and my need but to Glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
In “What’s Best Next” Matt Perman does a masterful job of connecting the gospel to productivity. In a time when many people now find throwing the word gospel in a book to sell more copies I found Matt’s book refreshing in that he understand the gospel and apply it well to productivity. Thank you Matt for writing something that needed to be written. As someone who is passionate about the Glory of God in all things, the gospel, theology and about GTD I found “What’s Best Next” both theologically solid and intensely practical. That is not easy to do.