Peter Drucker in the The Effective Executive:
Effectiveness is a habit. Rather, it is a complex of five habits of the mind, that have to be acquired to be an effective executive. These five habits are
- Effective execs know where their time goes. They work systematically at managing the little of their time that can be brought under their control.
- Effective execs focus on outward contribution. They gear their efforts to results rather than to work. They start out with the question, "what results are expected of me?" rather than with the work to be done, let alone with its technique and tools.
- Effective execs build on strengths – their own, those of their superiors, peers, subordinates and those of the organization. They do not build on weaknesses nor do they start out with the things that they cannot do.
- Effective execs concentrate on the few major areas where superior performance will produce outstanding results. They force themselves to set priorities and stay with these priority decisions. They know that they have no choice but to do first things first, and second things not at all. The alternative is to get nothing done.
- Effective execs make dissenting decisions. They know that this is above all, a matter of system – right steps in the right sequence. They know that an effective decision is always a judgment based on "dissenting opinions" rather than on "consensus on the facts". And they know that to make many decisions fast means to make the wrong decisions. What is needed are few, but fundamental decisions. What is needed is the right strategy rather than razzle-dazzle tactics.