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Author’s Note
I am delighted that my book, The Effective Executive, is being included in the HarperBusiness Essentials series. Since its first publication, in 1966, it has found a large and continuing readership throughout the world with translations into more than two dozen languages. It is required reading in a large number of worldwide enterprises—big ones and small ones—bothfor people promoted to their first executive position and for people promoted to higher executive jobs. For the need to learn to be an effective executive still remains. An effective executive is not “talent,” let alone “genius.” The effective executive follows practices that can be learned and must be learned. It is increasingly difficult to be effective as an executive in all organizations of ourdiverse society and not in businesses alone. It is equally necessary for the fulfillment of the individual and for the performance of the organization. The Effective Executive is both a concise blueprint for effectiveness as an executive within an organization and a practical guide to managing oneself for performance and achievement, whether within an organization or on one’s own. It is equallythe best introduction for the nonmanager—whether student or layman—to management and organizations. This book grew out of twenty years of consulting with business executives. But it was first developed as a program for the senior executives of the Eisenhower administration. It has long been required reading in scores of major business organizations and also for any executive, no matter how senior orexperienced, who is given a new assignment. It is equally required reading in several of the world’s largest universities for anyone promoted to an administrative assign-

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ment, e.g., department chairman or dean. The same is true in hospitals. The book has proven itself particularly useful for the million or more people who, in the last thirty years, have started their owncommunity foundations and nonprofits in the United States. For every developed society has become a society of organizations. And every organization, whatever its specific function, depends for its performance (and indeed its survival) on the effectiveness of its executives. Peter F. Drucker April 2002

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The Effective Executive
PETER F. DRUCKER

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ContentsAuthor’s Note Preface 1. Effectiveness Can Be Learned 2. Know Thy Time 3. What Can I Contribute? 4. Making Strength Productive 5. First Things First 6. The Elements of Decision-making 7. Effective Decisions Conclusion: Effectiveness Must Be Learned Notes About the Author Books by Peter F. Drucker Copyright Cover About the Publisher

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Preface
Management books usually dealwith 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 howto make themselves effective in their own job and work set the wrong example. To be reasonably effective it is not enough for the individual to be intelligent, to work hard or to be knowledgeable. Effectiveness is something separate, something different. But to be effective also does not require special gifts, special aptitude, or special training. Effectiveness as an executive demands doingcertain—and fairly simple—things. It consists of a small number of practices, the practices that are presented and discussed in this book. But these practices are not “inborn.” In forty-five years of work as a consultant with a large number of executives in a wide variety of organizations—large and small; businesses, government agencies, labor unions, hospitals, universities, community services;...
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