Effective Executives Think And Say “We”

In his classic book entitled “The Effective Executive,” management giant Peter Drucker asserts that effective executives don’t think and say “I”, they think and say “we.” According to Drucker:

Effective executives know that they have ultimate responsibility, which can neither be shared nor delegated. But they have authority only because they have the trust of the organization. This means that they think of the needs and the opportunities of the organization before they think of their own needs and opportunities. This may sound simple; it isn’t, but it needs to be strictly observed.” (p. xxII)

Drucker first published this classic management book over 45 years ago, in 1967. There is more valuable information about how to be an effective executive in the first thirteen pages of the introduction than there is in most modern management books.

Please don’t miss Drucker’s point – effective executives are not egocentric or narcissistic. They don’t consider themselves “the source”, the oracle from which all organizational wisdom emanates. Effective executives view themselves as a resource of the organization and its purpose.

Whatever stage you are at in your career, do others consider you a resourceful contributor? How do you know? If the ability to help others succeed is not part of your leadership development regimen, then you are neglecting one of the most important skills you will need to be an effective executive.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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About Bret Simmons

Nevada Management Professor

Posted on January 20, 2012, in organizational behavior and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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