Peter F. Drucker “The Effective Executive”

[amtap amazon:asin=0060833459]

For those of you who have never heard of Peter Drucker, be assured that he is one of the most prominent authors of management literature. Some even say that he invented management as a discipline. In any case he published a number of books and papers, many of which were groundbreaking.

This book (link to amazon.com and amazon.de) is one of the classics in the field of management books. It is timeless and covers the essence of management, which is “How do I get the right things done?”. Although first published in 1967 it took me more than 50 pages to actually realize this. And the only reason was actually that a year in one of the footnotes seemed a bit “old”. But the core messages are still fully valid (perhaps more than ever) after more than 40 years. Yes, some of the examples are a bit outdated and I must admit that I have never heard of some of the companies mentioned. However, I see this as an advantage because it allowed me to focus on the main points and not be distracted by details I had read about a year ago or so.

It is not a book for people who want a checklist. Instead it lays the background and tells the reader how to think and act upon these thoughts. In terms of main blocks it is made up from the following parts:

  • How to manage time
  • What do you want to contribute to the organization?
  • Where and how should I mobilize resources for the best effect?
  • How to set priorities
  • Putting it all together

One final advantage of the book is its length. While many people these days seem to think that at least 300-400 pages are necessary to convey their message, Peter Drucker needs only about 170 pages. So you can read all this great content without spending weeks. And finally, the language doesn’t make things more complicated than necessary. So even for non-native speakers (like myself) it should not be too difficult.

Overall a must-read for anyone who either is or wants to become a manager.

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