David Mytton

Book Review (5/5) – The Effective Executive (Peter F. Drucker)

Published in Book Reviews.

Originally published on Goodreads.

I think most of what is contained in this book you can figure out for yourself if you have a role with a lot of responsibility requiring the delivery of results. It’s just that this book will explain it to you in a few hours whereas to figure it out yourself will take 5-10 years of practice. In that sense, I would put this book on the shortlist of books that everyone should read before starting their first job, especially if that job is your own business.

I don’t agree with everything Drucker says. For example, he says meetings are usually a waste of time. That is true in most cases, until you have read Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable…about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business which teaches you how to run meetings, and a leadership team, effectively.

He also says that you have to put up with personality weaknesses even if that means the highly effective person is horrible to work with/for. Maybe that is true in the army or similarly disciplined roles, but I don’t think that is necessary in knowledge work. Not everyone is going to be nice all the time, indeed there are often times when you have to be very harsh and direct, but that shouldn’t be the norm. There are plenty of places to work to achieve high impact outcomes. Putting up with terrible people should’t be part of the cost of doing those things.