What makes leaders effective?.

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Peter Drucker and one question

Peter Drucker is likely the founder of the science of management and leadership. His research centered around one question: “What makes leaders effective?”. That question sounds simple, but leaders come in all shapes, sizes and with many many different personality traits. What do successful leaders then share?

8 + 1 common traits of effective managers

In one of his last articles in the HBR he looked back at his life-long research and condensed 8 + 1 traits that successful managers have in common.

The traits:

  • They ask: What needs to be done?
  • They ask: What is right for the enterprise?
  • They develop plans
  • They take responsibility for decisions
  • They take responsibility for communicating
  • They focus on opportunities rather than problems
  • They ran productive meetings
  • They say we rather than I

Plus one bonus trait:

  • They listen first and speak last

The traits look simple, yet they seem to be hard to achieve. It’s a good practice for every manager and leader to go through the items from time to time and critically ask if you are really doing your best in each case.

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