Week 51 of 52. Welcome to Drucker Mondays, a 52-week journey through the book, A Year with Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness, by Joseph A. Maciariello. Each Monday, we feature a Drucker fan and his or her favorite snippet from the week's topic. (Subscribe on this page.) Michael Wong is our guest writer today.
For over 20 years, Peter Drucker mentored Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Church (1995) and The Purpose Driven Life (2002). This chapter shares a talk honoring Peter Drucker delivered by Warren at the 2004 Drucker Alumni Day in Claremont, Calif.
MICHAEL WONG'S FAVORITE DRUCKER INSIGHTS from Week 51, pages 388-392:
• Rick Warren states two essential Drucker truths:
1) “Leaders don’t ask, ‘What do I want?’ Leaders ask, ‘What needs to be done?’”
2) “The mission comes first.”
• Drucker: “They (leaders) know how to say no. The pressures on leaders to do 984 different things is unbearable, so the effective ones know how to say no and stick with it. They don’t suffocate themselves as a result. Too many leaders try to do a little bit of 25 things and get nothing done. They are very popular because they always say yes. But they get nothing done.”
• Drucker: They (successful leaders) ask, “’Of those things that would make a difference, which are right for me?’ They don’t tackle things they aren’t good at. They make sure other necessities get done, but not by them. Successful leaders make sure that they succeed! They are not afraid of strengths in others.”
MICHAEL WONG'S COLOR COMMENTARY:
I find it intriguing that Peter Drucker, with all this wisdom, would teach Rick Warren the simple art of saying “no.” As a father of two young boys, I hear that beautiful two-letter word about a hundred times a day. If we learn the word at such a young age, why is it so difficult to say “no” when we grow up? Fear, control, pride, and a desire to impress others all factor into why we say “yes.”
I have a CFO mentor who once suggested that I set aside an hour each day during work hours to think. When I first heard this, I thought he was absolutely insane.
How can you get anything done if you are just thinking? What I’ve seen over the years is that we can become so consumed by the commitments we make that we lose sight of whether that commitment or activity makes any impact. When I make the effort to build in thinking/reflection time, I find that I am able to make better decisions and develop strategies and activities that directly impact and further the organization’s mission and goals. As a leader, I can think of no better activity to build into each day.
So, how can we build in time for thinking? We need to say no. We need to stop doing something. Peter Drucker advised Rick Warren in this way: “Don’t tell me what you’re doing, Rick. Tell me what you stopped doing.”
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY MICHAEL WONG:
Michael Wong, CPA, is the chief financial officer at Open Doors USA in Santa Ana, Calif. Open Doors strives to raise awareness of global persecution, mobilizing prayer, support and action among Christians around the world. Click here to learn more about their World Watch List and how Open Doors ranks countries where Christians are persecuted.
• What will you stop doing so that you can build in time to think and reflect? As Drucker notes, consider stopping things that either don’t make a difference or do not suit your skillset. If you have been doing something consistently for years (a Monday report, for example), determine if it is absolutely necessary. Then help your teams ask those same questions of their daily routine.
• Visit the Delegation Bucket webpage and download the "Don't-Do List" worksheet.
Read Bob Buford's Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance (20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition), with a foreword by Jim Collins (published this fall with more than 750,000 previously sold).
On Dec. 28, 2015, watch for the wrap-up color commentary for Week 52 by John Pearson on "Peter Drucker's Ten Principles for Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life (As Reported by Bob Buford)," the last chapter in the book’s final section, “Character and Legacy.”