Week 8 of 52. Welcome to Drucker Mondays, a 52-week journey through the new book, A Year with Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness, by Joseph A. Maciariello. Each Monday, we'll feature a Drucker fan and his or her favorite snippet from the week's topic. (Subscribe on this page.) Mark Thrash is our guest writer today.
THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: If you want your organization to have the greatest impact, the secret is focus. You need to focus on the “right results” that will make a real difference.
MARK THRASH’S FAVORITE DRUCKER INSIGHTS from Week 8, pages 59-64:
• “I would submit that you should target yourself on the areas where a little success on your part will have the greatest impact.” (p. 59)
• “Knowing your mission or purpose is essential in choosing from among all available opportunities—those that have the highest probability of producing the right results.” (p. 61)
• “If you want your life to count, if you want your organization to count, the secret is focus, focus with your life. Do a few things well.” (p. 62)
• “One just cannot keep adding initiatives without removing some. You should ask yourself, ‘What am I (or what are we) going to give up?’ One should abandon programs where even great success is unlikely to make a real difference.” (p. 62)
• “There is nothing as difficult and as expensive, but also nothing is as futile, as trying to keep a corpse from stinking… the first rule for the concentration of executive efforts is to slough off the past that has ceased to be productive.” (p. 62)
• “Without systematic and purposeful abandonment, an organization will be overtaken by events. It will squander its best resources on things it should never have been doing or should no longer do. As a result, it will lack the resources, especially capable people, needed to exploit the opportunities that arise.” (p. 63)
MARK THRASH’S COLOR COMMENTARY:
The concept of “right results” to make a real difference really struck me. I’ve understood the value of measuring results and have believed in the concept of focus and abandoning programs that are not effective, but this chapter took these concepts to another level. Even if the programs are successful, are they achieving the “right results” that are actually making the real difference we want to make?
These concepts reminded me of my good friend, Norris, who is a cherry farmer. He says, “You don’t get fruit by adding things, you get fruit by pruning.” He then goes on to explain that you have to cut off the “suckers” which are sucking the tree’s energy and resources away from the fruit. If you don’t cut them off, the fruit will not mature. (Watch this 13-minute video and learn how this cherry farmer eventually understood why pruning is so fundamental to growth.)
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY MARK THRASH:
Mark Thrash is the Director of Partner Development at CRM, Anaheim, Calif. CRM works to create movements of committed followers of Jesus.
• What are some examples of “right results” for you and your organization? Plan a half-day strategic advance with your leadership team to clarify what the “right results” are for your organization.
• What is your “systematic and purposeful abandonment plan?” Add another half-day to the strategic advance above and develop a plan for evaluating and pruning programs of the past.
• Re-read pages 62-63.
On March 2, 2015, we’ll be half-way into a four-week segment on “The Road Map to Personal Effectiveness.” Week 9’s topic is “Organize Work for Effectiveness.” Watch for the color commentary by Jim Canning, who served many years as VP/Chief Financial Officer of World Vision International.