The Effective Executive

Learn how to be an effective executive within your organization.

It is paramount and crucial at the same time to navigate our way to the corporate ladder. Becoming an effective executive can help your navigation.

This article will help you become the effective executive that you were supposed to be. You can start by making decisions and standing by them. You should delegate by knowing strengths and weaknesses. And of course, acknowledge the vital role that time plays on your success as one of your most precious resources.

Supporting effective communication and developing employee skills work for the success of your company too.

You’ll learn:

  • Why you should stop wasting your time at client dinners
  • Why hiring salespeople with other interesting skills is a good move
  • Why holding long decision-making meetings might actually save you time

Effective executives lead by example; improving your own skills will help you succeed.

Now, picture an executive that you admire. Does this person seem like he was born for the job he upholds?

In real life, effective executives are not born as effective executives, they are made. Which means you can become one too.

Start within yourself so you get to lead by example. Doing so will help your people to put their trust on your skills and leadership. As an effective executive, you need to be aware of your surroundings. This should help you better put your great ideas into execution with enough accountability and responsibility.

U.S. President Harry Truman was an effective leader. He took the chair in 1945 when he realized that the issues abroad needed more attention. And so he focused on foreign policy, which made him one of the most effective foreign-policy presidents in the whole American history. And he made it happen by developing himself through effective efforts.

Start by carefully studying your own performance, which can be a powerful tool for self-development. This can also give you an idea whether you have any misconceptions or biased decisions. And most importantly, you get to assess your own weaknesses. Doing so can help you decide when it is time to pass the ball for decision-making.

An effective executive knows she is judged on her results, and plots the right path toward a goal.

Learning how to effectively and efficiently navigate a team is an important key that a knowledge worker must know. Knowledge workers consistently make executive decisions that can affect an entire organization while manual workers since they produce concrete goods using their hands.

A manual worker’s performance is based on the quantity of the produced items and being measured against a clear goal, which is very different on how an executive’s work is measured.

Sure, executives work longer hours than manual workers, but hours spent do not usually tell efficiency. Therefore, executives and knowledge workers can only be assessed through results.

But in the end, working within an organization means functioning as a whole team. And usually, knowledge workers with different strengths, skills, and specialties are joined together in a team to collaborate, which makes communication is crucial. An effective executives then should know how to guide communication toward successful results without jeopardizing specialty jargons and work codes.

As an executive, you have to make decisions and stand by them - even in the face of criticism.

Executives are expected to make decisions.

And before they do so, they ask a particular question: Is this decision actually worth making? And so should you.

Before you answer that, ask yourself these:

What would happen in this situation if you did nothing?

Would the probable outcome of your decision greatly outweigh its risks and costs?

If your answer to the second one is ‘no’, abort it.

Know your boundary conditions as these are important in executing a solution or a decision in any given business.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt ran for the chair in 1933, he made a promise to repair the economy after the Great Depression through the existing balanced budget. He made a boundary condition of using the balance budget.

But between the period of his presidential campaign and being inaugurated, he saw the economy got worse and the disappearance of the balanced budget. But since he possessed skills in great decision-making, Roosevelt made an unfeasible plan for recovery, which made economic reform a more viable course of action.

Executing important decisions can be challenging because it requires a lot of courage to do follow through on decisions.

However, bad decision-making has become the norm. As examples of such are the policy statements that do not contain action commitments. And without regulations, a policy would not take in effect. You should not let this happen in any way. Take the risk no matter the cost.

To make the right decisions, listen to alternative viewpoints and learn from past outcomes.

There is no way to guess the result of your decisions. What you can do is follow the path you seem fit. So, how would you know? There are no perfect answers. But hearing to other viewpoints could help you to be more open-minded and at the same time, you could support their professional development while equally developing yourself, which is a total win for both parties. This is a key aspect of effective leadership. Such feedback system is crucial in aiming effectual.

On the other hand, decisions within corporations and in the military are constantly being reviewed, because of the weight in each decisions due to the gravity of the effect of each outcome. Thus, more effective organizational structures are attained.

For example, when the former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower served as a US army general, he made a lot of decisions and executed them. But as president, much of his words and ideas rarely led to direct action.

Time is a valuable commodity, so make sure you eliminate useless activities that just kill time.

Restraints are always a dilemma to every executive but there are absolutely things that you can adjust, like, hiring more manpower or increasing profits for added budget. Time is the only thing limited, and the most precious resource.

The author instructed a group of executives to make a guess of how they used their time during the work day. Keeping a diary for a few weeks, the group was flabbergasted to see the results that were far from their original anticipated results.

When you act too soon, you might actually waste time having to go back and forth trying a different approach. And because time is so previous, try to avoid tasks that kill time, especially the unnecessary ones. Say, another executive asks you out on dinner, you do not necessarily have to go, most especially if your presence is not mandatory.

For example, only invite team members who are closely linked to the topic at hand. Keep in mind that a short meeting is a good meeting, as long as it is focused and productive and not rushed.

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