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The Effective Executive Summary

Here’s The Effective Executive summary. Increase your effectiveness by managing your time, exploiting opportunities, and focusing on your own contribution.


The Effective Executive author Peter Drucker explains how people can become more effective. He also explains where people should focus to maximize their contribution to their companies.

In his book, you will also learn how to focus. You will also be motivated to aim for greatness and excellence. Read his book or this summary if you want to be a more effective executive.

About the Author

Peter Drucker was a management consultant who has a lot of contribution in modern business practices. He has often been described as the founder of modern management.

Aside from The Effective Executive, his other popular works are The Essential Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Managing for the Future, and Managing in a Time of Great Change.

Main takeaways: The Effective Executive Summary

Let’s discuss the key takeaways from his book:

  1. Manage your time.
  2. Exploit opportunities.
  3. Focus on your contribution.

Manage your time

What you do determines your effectiveness. If you manage your time well, you can get a lot of important things done.

Effectiveness is about doing the things that will bring you closer to your goals. If most of what you do has an impact, expect great results for your company.

But if you don’t have the time for the valuable things, you can’t get much results. First, you need to have time for those. You should examine your current activities. Which of those bring the most results?

Then ruthlessly get rid of the time wasters. This way you will have more time and energy for the important tasks. That is the way for you to become more effective.

It will also help to determine the time requirement whenever you plan. Time is the most important resource no matter what profession you’re in.

Exploit opportunities

Many executives focus on problems. They often forget to look for new opportunities.

Problem solving is essential. Problems cause damages. And you want to prevent those from happening. But it’s not all there is. If you want to get much more results, you should start focusing on opportunities.

New opportunities can lead to new growth paths for your company. You will come up with great ideas how to earn more profits. You will also figure out ways how to become more cost-efficient.

It’s the job of the executive to look for opportunities. Then she should exploit it for the good of her company. Problems can be delegated. But the executive has to deal with the new opportunities.

Focus on your contribution

Always ask yourself, “What can I contribute?” That will help you focus on what matters.

Whenever you’re solving a problem, holding a meeting, sending an email, or anything that relates to your company, focus on your contribution.

That will also help you get much more results. You remind yourself what you were hired for. Then you execute on those important tasks effectively. People around you will recognize you as results-oriented.

If your main contribution should be to increase sales, focus on that. Higher ups and stakeholders expect you to increase that number. It doesn’t matter if you’re busy. What’s important is you hit your goal.

Before you start your day, ask yourself “What can I contribute?” Your answers will direct your activities towards the most important things. Then you will become a much more effective executive.

Aside from managing your time, exploiting opportunities, and focusing on your contribution, you will also learn the following from Peter Drucker’s book:

  • Doing what needs to be done
  • Applying small daily practices that make you more effective
  • Organizing for excellence
  • Becoming courageous
  • How to be better in decision making

My personal takeaways

I’ve learned the importance of time. I should set aside time for my priorities. Or else they’re not actually my priorities at all.

Focusing on contribution is also one of the keys to becoming more effective. If I can’t contribute in something, maybe I should just delete it. Whenever I give a comment or write a blog post, I focus on contribution. This way I add more value to others.

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