Issue No. 178 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features a book with a daily dose of Drucker, who famously said, “People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.” And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
“Why should people, who for ten or fifteen years have been competent, suddenly become incompetent?” Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, asked this question on June 7 in his marvelous one-big-management-insight-a-day book, The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done.
He answers his own question. “The reason in practically all cases I have seen, is that people continue in their new assignment to do what made them successful in the old assignment and what earned them the promotion. Then they turn incompetent, not because they have become incompetent, but because they are doing the wrong things.”
Drucker adds, “What the new assignment requires is not superior knowledge or superior talent. It requires concentration on the things that the new assignment requires, the things that are crucial to the new challenge, the new job, the new task.”
I received an encouraging email from a 27-year-old manager. He attended a workshop session I led last week and after hearing about the “Drucker Bucket,” he was sold. “So which book by Peter Drucker should I read first?” he asked.
I always suggest you start with The Effective Executive. My second pick—if you’re willing to develop the habit of reading Drucker year-round, is The Daily Drucker. Don’t waste the two minutes every morning watching your computer boot up. Instead, find a comfortable chair and enjoy the Drucker delicacies (one page for every day of the year) on all things management.
The one-pagers, including the quotable Druckerisms, are from his 39 books—and they are all compelling: Organizational Inertia, Practice of Abandonment, The Function of Management Is to Produce Results, Balance Continuity and Change, Understanding What the Customer Buys, The Change Leader, A Scorecard for Managers, and 358 more insights.
Each page includes a memorable “Action Point.” On April 11, “The Four Competencies of a Leader,” Drucker summarizes the sermonette from his one-year management bible with this: “Set aside ten minutes every Friday afternoon to give yourself a weekly report card on all four skills: listening, communicating, reengineering mistakes, and subordinating your ego to the task at hand.”
His “Action Point” for sudden incompetence? “Do not continue to do in your new assignment what made you successful in the old one. When you enter a new assignment, ask ‘What new things should I be doing in my new assignment to be effective?’”
To order this book from Amazon, click on this title: The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done, by Peter F. Drucker, with Joseph A. Maciariello.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) How would you coach a co-worker who is about to be promoted to a new position in your organization? What are the Top-5 things you would recommend this person do in the first 100 days?
2) Drucker said, “Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs.” What happens when executives don’t deal with this issue?
Church of Results - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Results Bucket, Chapter 1, in Mastering the Management Buckets, is from Peter Drucker. It’s so simple, it’s neglected routinely. “Manage for results.”
In the foreword, Jim Collins writes, “Drucker belonged to the church of results. Instead of starting with an almost religious belief in a particular category of answers—a belief in leadership, or culture, or information, or decentralization, or marketing, or strategy, or any other category—Drucker began with the question, ‘what accounts for superior results?’ and then derived answers. He started with the outputs—the definitions and markers of success—and worked to discover the inputs, not the other way around.”
Collins adds, “And then he preached the religion of results to his students and clients, not just to business corporations but equally to government and the social sectors. The more noble your mission, the more he demanded: what will define superior performance? ‘Good intentions,’ he would seemingly yell without ever raising his voice, 'are no excuse for incompetence.’”
To read the entire three-page foreword by Jim Collins, visit his website.
For more resources from the Results Bucket and the Drucker Bucket, including a link to a few Druckerisms for use in boring staff meetings, visit the Buckets Page on my website and click on any of the 20 buckets for free downloads.
Coming Events With John Pearson:
April 8 - CEO Dialogues Roundtable (Phoenix). Visit the website.
April 29 – The Rolling 3-Year Strategic Plan Workshop: Build It. Execute It. Update It. Year After Year! (3 Days Over 5 Months, Orange County, Calif.) Visit the website.
May 12-13 – Mastering the Management Buckets Workshop Experience: The 20 Critical Competencies (Orange County, Calif.) Visit the website.