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3T Leadership Assessment

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The 3T Leadership Assessment 
from Laura Stack’s book, Doing the Right Things Right: How the Effective Executive Spends Time.

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”—Peter F. Drucker.
 
The Effective Executive is probably the most widely read business book in the world. That's hardly surprising, since it's a brief, straightforward book on how an executive can best serve his or her organization—and it has, after all, been available continuously for just shy of 50 years. I know I'm not alone in considering it my favorite and most instructive business book.
 
In The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker comes through with what he promises in the subtitle: a definitive guide to getting the right things done, complete with all the things an effective executive must to do help keep his or her organization afloat. He explains the "why" and the "what to do" in a superlative manner—as always. If the book has a flaw, however, it's in the "how."
 
How does the modern executive—a somewhat different animal from the executive Drucker defined in 1967—do the job both effectively and efficiently? How does the executive at any level mine that intersection of effective and efficient to get the right things done right?
 
Drucker outlines in The Effective Executive five effectiveness practices for executives to follow, or what he refers to as “habits of the mind,” which I summarize as:
 
  1. Understand and control where time goes.
  2. Focus on results.
  3. Build on strengths.
  4. Prioritize tasks.
  5. Make effective decisions.
To be both effective and efficient, today’s leaders should follow 12 such practices:
  1. GOALS: Align strategy and objectives
  2. CHANGE: Embrace innovation and adaptability
  3. COMMUNICATION: Share mission, vision, and expectations
  4. DECISION MAKING: Resolve and execute decisions promptly
  5. ENVIRONMENT: Build an open team culture
  6. PERFORMANCE: Forge a results-oriented team
  7. MOTIVATION: Harness creativity and loyalty
  8. GROWTH: Emphasize continuous improvement
  9. VALUE: Focus on high-impact activities
  10. TECHNOLOGY: Master data handling and workflow
  11. AGILITY: Maximize speed and flexibility
  12. BALANCE: Sustain personal health and mental acuity  
These 12 practices reflect the 12 chapters of this book. Some of these factors were not as germane in Drucker's time as they are now or were considered either less important or too obvious to state explicitly. However, priorities have changed over the decades and sometimes even the obvious must be spelled out.

For memorability and organization, I’ve group these practices into three parts of four chapters each, which reflect the three primary areas where leaders spend time, which I call “3T Leadership”:
 
Part I: STRATEGIC THINKING (BUSINESS): acting as the organizational strategist, with the focus on business goals. The executive monitors the big picture and makes sure their team's efforts match up with and reinforce the company's goals.
 
Part II: TEAMWORK (EMPLOYEES): serving as the conscientious leader who focuses on employee productivity. Often, this is the low- to mid-level executive's most important role, because building and maintaining an effective, productive team is the first step toward high performance.
 
Part III: TACTICAL WORK (SELF): being the productive performer, focusing on task completion. Even a team member in a non-leadership position may be an executive in the loosest sense of the term, in that he or she is a productive performer, executing strategy using whatever tactics are available.
 
As shorthand, I’ll refer to the 3Ts as THINK, TEAM, and TACTICS. They are the chief time management roles for leaders; it’s what they actually “do” during the day and where they spend their time.
 
Now let’s get started by taking the 3T Leadership Assessment. It will provide insight into your level of efficient effectiveness as you prepare to read this book.