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Doing the Right Things Right

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Doing the Right Things Right

How the Effective Executive Spends Time


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Productivity consultant Laura Stack offers how-to advice in this update of Peter Drucker’s 1967 classic, The Effective Executive.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • For Beginners


In 1967, Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, published The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done. Drucker’s best-selling work, which codified business productivity, remains a revered, popular classic. Some of Drucker’s concepts, however, are more traditional than modern. Productivity consultant Laura Stack takes up where Drucker left off, offering a fresh perspective in her updated supplement to Drucker’s indispensable manual. She presents three “T’s” of leadership – “strategic thinking, team focus and tactical work” – as the organizing rubric for 12 critical management goals. Stack details why and how modern executives must operate in “efficient and effective” ways. getAbstract recommends her update to all executives – a category, she says, that includes anyone who makes important decisions.


“Efficient and Effective”

Today’s executives must operate effectively to achieve results and must use resources efficiently in reaching their goals. To attain these standards, executives should follow the credo: “Once you know you’re spending time on the right things…focus on doing them right.”

In his classic book The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker (1909-2005) listed necessary “habits of the mind” – or “effectiveness practices.” He advised knowing how to spend your time and controlling how you spend it, concentrating on results, leveraging your strengths, prioritizing work-related tasks and making results-oriented decisions.

To become and remain effective and efficient, executives should make 12 vital practices the core of their management approach. These 12 practices are organized according to the “3T leadership roles” of “strategic thinking, team focus” and “tactical work.”

Part I: Strategic Thinking

Strategic thinking calls for identifying your intended outcomes and planning your activities around achieving those goals. Take advantage of your organization’s structure while striving to improve it.

Strategic thinking...

About the Author

Laura Stack founded The Productivity Pro consultancy. Her other books include What To Do When There’s Too Much To Do and Execution Is the Strategy.

Comment on this summary

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    D. P. 7 years ago

    The final paragraph from the abstract suggests the author of the abstract is still locked into 20th century culture. Maybe they should read the book! 'Long Hours, High Stress' is a sign of "Doing the Wrong things Wrong".
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    j. w. 7 years ago
    #30DaysOfSummaries Everyone can learn from this article, the points are reasonable.
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    S. L. 7 years ago
    A good summary like this helps to focus on what's important. A reminer of what Drucker originally wrote, but more succinct and suits today's business context