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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Peter Drucker: Are You an Effective Manager of People and Resources?

"Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done." Peter Drucker

Asking the Right Questions

'Are you a good manager of people and resources? Do you make it easy or difficult for people to get things done in an effective and satisfying manner?'

These are the questions management giant Peter Drucker asked of leaders to help us think about what we were doing so we could better see and act on the obvious. His was a rational voice calling us to take a more practical, thoughtful approach to managing resources and leading people. He understood people are our greatest resource.

As an 'ENFP' on the Myers-Briggs, I gravitated towards Drucker's leading with questions to determine how to be more effective, rather than just efficient--a way of thinking that lead me through most of my work life.

Drucker  greatly influenced my thinking about how to properly manage people and resources--helping me be more effective by considering where to place my focus and how to best manage my time--by dividing my attention between an external customer focus 2/3 of the time and internal issues only 1/3 of the time. I quickly learned you can spend all your time perfecting internal systems and dealing with internal conflict, or you can refocus your attention on better ways to attract and maintain customers, and build the business.
For me, the two most important questions became 'how do you free people up to do their best work, and how do you keep the focus on the things that matter?'

"The purpose of a business is to create a customer." Peter Drucker

What Problem are you trying to Solve?

"Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things." Peter Drucker

Too often in the workplace managers lead people down a path without knowing what problem they're trying to solve or even IF it is the right problem to solve. The goal quickly becomes to LOOK PRODUCTIVE rather than to be productive. This waste of time leads to frustration and apathy for the team, and people working on the wrong things without actually accomplishing anything. Nothing dissipates enthusiasm faster than wasting people's time.

If you want to be an effective manager, you need to constantly evaluate your effectiveness. To be effective you must know what problem you're trying to solve...and then you need to question if it is the right problem to be solving.

Looking over the past week, how effective were you? 

  • Are you straightening chairs on the titanic?
  • Are you  doing the right things or just keeping busy?
  • Are you productive or just busy?
  • Do you know what problem you're trying to solve? Is it the right one?

Are you focusing too much on the internal workings of the 
organization to the detriment of  the outside customer view?

Do you or your Organization Suffer from Internal Think?

How much time do you spend solving problems or perfecting systems inside the organization vs getting your name and product or services promoted outside the organization?

'2/3 of the organization's time and effort should be devoted to looking outside the organization and only 1/3 to internal issues.'  Peter Drucker
Internal Time Traps--What to Look For

 "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all."  Peter Drucker

  • Do you constantly redo your website frustrating customers or readers who can't see what they need through all the stuff on the page? Too much change is exhausting. "I need to be able to see how to get into my account and pay my bill"
  • Do you spend more time on internal communication and systems than you do on delivering services or goods?
  • Do you lose sight of the true goal in your quest to be right?
  • Are you so focused on being efficient you're ineffective because you're efficiently doing the wrong things?
  • Are you wasting time perfecting efficient systems that should never be done at all?
  • Do you spend more time thinking about how to impress the stakeholders or how to best your colleague than on how to deliver excellent products and services?

 In 1967, in his classic book, The Effective Executive, management expert Peter Drucker wrote:

 "The effective executive makes strengths productive. To achieve results one has to use all the available strengths — the strengths of associates, the strength of the superior, and one's own strengths. These strengths are the true opportunities. To make strength productive is the unique purpose of the organization. It cannot overcome the weaknesses with which each of us is endowed, but it can make them irrelevant."

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

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