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Executive Lessons to Be Learned From Peter Drucker.
By Patrick Lynch
Wednesday, 29th January 2014

There is one information source that I know that I can always refer to for inspiration and guidance when it comes to executive coaching and leadership development – Peter Drucker.
Peter Drucker is arguably the most important management scholar of our time having written thirty five books on the subject, consulted with thousands and had a measurable impact in the way that corporations manage.
In his book “What Makes an Effective Executive?” Peter Drucker lists out eight practices that should be followed. They are:
1. Get the knowledge That You Need
2. Write An Action Plan
3. Act
4. Take Responsibility For Your Decisions
5. Take Responsibility For Communicating
6. Focus On Opportunities
7. Make Meetings Productive
8. Think And Say We

The power in this advice is the simplicity and directness that it provides. While these eight practices may seem obvious there are far too many times when executives do not follow them in their business practice.
Take for example – Focus on Opportunities.
What will happen too often in organizations is a focus on problems – market conditions, competitive threats, etc. We saw these frequently when organizations would frame their plans around what has happened to them as a result of 9/11 or the 2008 financial meltdown.
What Drucker astutely advises is “Unless there is a true catastrophe, problems are not discussed in management meetings until opportunities have been analyzed and properly dealt with”.
This advice puts the focus on where is should rightly be – on growing the business. As Drucker states “... problem solving, however necessary, does not produce results. It prevents damage. Exploiting opportunities produces results.
I have found that following the advice of Peter Drucker has always lead to effective executive coaching and leadership development. While the advice seems simple there are frequently times when executives lose focus and need to be reminded on where their focus should be.
Patrick Lynch is Managing Partner of OI Partners Atlanta and President of The Frontier Group. He has served in senior marketing and sales positions with leading consumer product companies such as Georgia Pacific, Kao Brands, Kraft/General Foods and The HON Company. He also serves on the board of directors of Special Pops, a non-profit organization that offers an adaptive tennis program specifically designed to share the lifetime sport of tennis with children and adults with intellectual disabilities. He lives in Roswell, GA.

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