What if Peter Drucker himself had an opportunity to review your leadership work, what do you think he would say? Would he say you're an effective leader?
If by chance you are new to the philosophies, teachings and writings of Peter Drucker I highly suggest taking some time to familiarize yourself with him. Short and sweet – Drucker is the Godfather of Business Leadership (let’s just go by GBL moving forward) and is responsible for much of what we know today in how effective leaders work and operate.
What makes for an effective leader? I just finished reading a fantastic, classic leadership book by GBL himself, ‘The Effective Executive’, originally published in 1967. As noted on the front cover of the book, ‘The Effective Executive’ provides a straight forward, simplistic guide to “getting the right things done” for people in a leadership capacity. What I found amazing about this book is how relevant and simplistic Drucker’s advice is, even for todays’ purposes in a business world that is far different from when these thoughts were put to paper some 48 years ago.
So, what is it then that makes for an effective executive [leader]?
All too often I find people enjoy making the topic of leadership how-to’s overly complicated. Maybe they do that to sell more books, or justify their new and insightful leadership methodology. For me, I’ve found that the more simplistic something is the better chance I have in understanding it, implementing it and continuing to act on it as a new habit.
Watch Out Now – just because something is simple doesn’t necessarily mean it is easy to do, or consistently for that matter.
Drucker’s approach to leadership success and effectiveness is simplicity at its best. He identifies the following five core competencies successful leaders should have as a part of the fabric that guides them through their daily work:
“Intelligence, imagination and knowledge are essential resources [for a leader], but only effectiveness converts them into results.” - Peter DruckerWhile this list may seem incredibly simple, I can tell you from personal experience it’s anything but that. Often times the most simplistic things in life can be the most difficult to master. Why? Because it takes discipline. Though these concepts may be easy to understand, the difficultly comes in the form of holding oneself accountable to doing it above all other things. That’s the tough part!
Being disciplined to doing the right thing at the right time is certainly easier said than done. So much so that Drucker identifies that
"the number one reason for leadership failure is the inability or willingness to change with the demands and expectations of the new job".So therein lies the secret! Thank you, GBL! The leaders’ who are willing to change and adapt while being disciplined to doing the right things at the right time are the ones that will be the most effective.
About the Author
Travis Smith is the founder and managing director of Square-1 Engineering, a life sciences consulting firm, providing end to end technical project services to companies which design, develop and or manufacture products in Southern California. He successfully served the life sciences marketplace in SoCal for over 15 years specializing in engineering services, consulting, project outsourcing and leadership development. In 2019 he was recognized as a ‘40 Under 40’ honoree by the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce as a top leader in Orange County, CA.