Thursday, May 04, 2006

Forty years of The Effective Executive - Appreciate our Strengths

I realized a few days ago that it is 40 years since the late Peter Drucker first published a slim volume called the "The Effective Executive" . He held several consistent messages over the years, one of which was to focus on people's strengths so that their weaknesses were irrelevant.
Yet we still persist in measuring what is least powerful in each of us and attempting to solve the problem through "training". Let's take a moment to follow his good advice - find something that someone (yourself maybe?) does well and make it even stronger. Mastery is an admirable long term goal and yet the ongoing pleasure of learning more about something we do well and are interested in may be even more rewarding.

The effective executive makes strength productive. He knows that one cannot build on weakness. To achieve results, one has to use all the available strengths -- the strengths of associates, the strengths of the superior, and one’s own strengths. These strengths are the true opportunities. To make strength productive is the unique purpose of organization. It cannot, of course, overcome the weaknesses with which each of us is abundantly endowed. But it can make them irrelevant. Its task is to use the strength of each man as a building block for joint performance
Peter Drucker, The Effective Executive, 1966

After 40 years wouldn't you think we might finally get it?

If there's more, read it here...