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The Effective Executive

Peter F. Drucker
The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

What makes an effective executive?

The measure of the executive is the ability to “get the right things done.”

This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked, as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge may all be wasted in an executive job without the acquired habits of mind that mold them into results.

In The Effective Executive, Drucker identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness that can, and must, be learned:

  • Managing time
  • Choosing what to contribute to the organization
  • Knowing where and how to mobilize strength for best effect
  • Setting the right priorities
  • Knitting all of them together with effective decision-making.


As a Project Manager, this book is helpful because it provides a great framework for effectively managing yourself and others. The book is over 40 years old, yet the message remains every bit as relevant today.

The core message is that effectiveness is a habit, not a skill. Effectiveness is “getting the right things done.” This is very different from efficiency, which is merely “doing things right.” What project manager doesn’t want to be more effective?


The Effective Executive is Recommended Reading for Navigate Academy Module 25: Project Scheduling

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