This chapter really summarizes everything you learned in the book.
- Chapter 1 — Effectiveness can be learned
- Chapter 2. Know thy time
- Chapter 3. What Can I contribute
- Chapter 4. Making Strengths Productive
- Chapter 5- First things First
- Chapter 6 — The elements of decision Making Process
Now here we are with chapter 7 “Effective decisions”
This is what is the whole theme an culmination of the entire book. Executives that make effective decisions.
One of the important lessons in this chapters states that people start with opinions rather than facts!
People tend to have their own bias and even an agenda, therefore they take a statement of an opinion and try to find facts to support it. Somehow they want to justify their claim to conclude that it is indeed a fact!
Ask any statistician and they will tell you that to be suspicious for ALL STATS or Poll. It all can be manipulated to support the original theory.
Even the Tobacco industry had tons of stats to support the notion that smoking was not really that bad to your health. Fortunately, this was disproved many years later.
This is why as a goal the effective executive will try to gain a type of consensus and agreement in the decision. You want to ensure that your decision is so good that everyone within your organization has to support it.
Drucker states that you should test any opinion against the true reality of the situation at hand.
For example, Scientists uses a method called the scientific process to where they establish a “Hypothesis” and start testing against it.
You should ask :
- What do we have to know to test the validity of this hypothesis?
- What would the facts have to be to make this opinion?
Again, the goal of the decision is to have everyone agree to it and be satisfy that it was the right decision to be made and you had no other better option. You allow this to happen by being open to have “Disagreements” between your employees.
Disagreements are important because it can be a way to stimulate imagination. The imagination is way to explore alternatives. Do not ever assume that one option is right and the other option was completely wrong.
Dig deep and figure out why others are disagreeing. Find out what the facts are in attempts to support to the conclusion of their original opinion.
The effective executive needs to be able to understand all sides. Keep on asking questions.
Then after all options have been clearly discussed and a decision is made you will finally need to ask:
“Is this decision really necessary”
It’s really amazing to me that despite taking so much time that you could even just scrap the whole decision all together.
Drucker is clearly stating that the decision not to make a decision is actually a decision in itself.
Well isn’t that a profound conclusion?
You would of thought that this whole exercise was a waste of time but Drucker gave the perfect explanation to prove that it was actually was very important.
At the end Peter Drucker says that:
Executives are not paid for doing things they like to do. They are paid for getting the right things done.
Point, Blank, Period
What a great way to end a book! This was definitely a must read and really glad I had a chance to read this book and dig deep into the content.
Originally published at Thomas Wooldridge.