Eight practices to be an effective executive

Peter Druker used to say that it is valid to find diverse leaders in terms of personality, attitudes, values, strengths and weaknesses which means that an effective executive does not need to be a leader in the sense that is currently given to this term.

The leader is not necessarily an executive, and the executive is not always the leader. Leaders can vary from extroverts to loners, from relaxed to controllers, from generous to parsimonious.

According to Druker, what makes an executive effective in any current organizational environment are eight practices:

1. They ask, what should be done? Asking what should I do for the organization and taking the matter seriously is critical to managerial success. The question is not "What do I want to do?"

2. They ask, what is good for the company? It is crucial to know that a decision that is not correct for the company, will ultimately not be true for any of the interested parties.

3. They develop action plans: The most imperative is to remember that all success, and all failure, create new opportunities.  A plan must have the desired results, the possible restrictions, future revisions, and the consequences.

4. They assume responsibility for their decisions: There is no executive genius that guesses right in all the decisions they make. This is the worst mistake that can lead an organization to failure. Organizations are made up of human beings who, as such, are not exempt from making mistakes.

Bad organizational decisions become problems when aspects such as deadlines, people responsible for decisions, the work team, who will be affected / benefited and who should be aware of each decision are not considered.

5. They assume the responsibility to communicate effectively and efficiently: They share their plans with all their colleagues – superiors, subordinates and peers – and ask for their comments. At the same time, they point out to each person what information they will need to perform the work.

6. They focus on opportunities instead of “problems”: Of course executives have to face the problems, they should not be ignored. But resolving problems does not produce results, they prevent damage. Taking advantage of opportunities does produce results!

7. They conduct productive meetings: The key to conducting an effective meeting is to first define what type of meeting will be held. Different types of meetings require different forms of preparation and different results. There are informative, follow-up or decision-making meetings. Each of them has a different management.

8. They think and say "we" instead of "me": The success and failure is not due to the work of the executive exclusively. In the process, more people are involved. The leader and executive should always think about the collective welfare, rather than his own triumph.

Such practices, as you can realize, start with questions and end with actions and useful custom not only for those who work with an executive but also the organization itself. Let's practice them to achieve a more efficient and pleasant organizational environment for all!