Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Effective Executive

Drum-roll please.

It's finally here: the long-awaited exposition of the most important lessons from The Effective Executive.

First, we must set the scene. , Peter F. Drucker begins his 1987 preface to his 1966 book on the effective executive thus:
Management books usually deal with managing other people. The subject of this book is managing oneself for effectiveness. That one can truly manage other people is by no means adequately proven. But one can always manage oneself. Indeed, executives who do not manage themselves for effectiveness cannot possibly expect to manage their associates and subordinates. Management is largely by example. Executives who do not know how to make themselves effective in their own job and work set the wrong example.
Executive effectiveness, Drucker asserts, consists in certain, fairly simple, practices, none of which are inborn or are the result of special talents or personalities. In other words, effectiveness is something that has to learned and practiced until it becomes habit.

Effectiveness, i.e., getting the right things done, is what executives are paid for. Without it, there can be no performance, no matter how much intelligence, hard work, or knowledge that goes into the work.

So, what are the principles of executive effectiveness?

These will be the subject of upcoming entries.

Stay tuned.

B C Lara for President

There are few pleasures in life to equal that of watching Brian Charles Lara in full flow. Unless, of course, your team happens to be at the business end of Lara's bat, in which case there are few agonies to match.

This morning, against Pakistan, Lara made the ninth Test double hundred of his career: 216 off 262 balls; 29 boundaries (22 fours and 7 sixes). In so doing, he surpassed Sir Don Bradman's record of 18 150s and brought his total of Test runs to 11, 904. Surely, Lara will go on to become the first man to amass 12, 000 Test runs.

When he's in the zone, Lara exhibits superb technique, exquisite timing and balletic balance at the crease. And he scores so quickly he can take the game away from you before you even know what's hit you.

I've noticed that a number of my favourite sportsmen are left-handed or left-footed. Lara. McEnroe. And of course Maradona. The left-hand (or -foot) of genius, you might say.

B C Lara for President of the world.