Peter Drucker, The Effective Executive

8 practices of effective executives:

1. Always be asking “what needs to be done now?”
2. Ask “what is right for the enterprise?
3. Write action plans
4. Make decisions
5. Communicate
6. Focus on opportunities not problems
7. Run productive meetings
8. Think in terms of “we” not “I”



Key Elements to Success

From Success to Goal

Because we differ in what we want, no one can define success for all.

Being successful in life boils down achieving one’s goals. Theories of success talks about how to set and achieve goals.

Skill 1: Setting Crystal Clear Goals

Nothing matters more than clarity in setting goals.

A goal is crystal clear goal when you can:
1. identify its achievement when it actually happens
2. vividly envision every aspect of its achievement
3. emotionally connect to its achievement

Skill 2: Breaking Goals into Tasks

Because we’re aspired to achieve something “big” (in relative terms), goals are usually not achieved by performing merely one tasks.

A goal, at its highest level, can be sliced into:
1. smaller but more practical goals, which in turn are made up of
2. projects big and small, which consist of
3. tasks

Skill 3: Time Management

Time is free, but it’s priceless.
You can’t own it, but you can use it.
You can’t keep it, but you can spend it.
Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.

Good time management is defined by achievement of goals on or before deadline, if and only if actions of finishing tasks are actually taken.

Combining the dimension of time with breaking down of goals, it means:
1. achievement of the smaller but more practical goals on of before deadline
2. keeping projects on the track
3. finishing tasks at their designated time

Two Methodologies for Time Management:
1. Getting Things Done
2. Eat that Frog

Skill 4: Managing Actions by Forming Habits

The only way to ensure that actions are taken at their designated time is to build habits.

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.
— Warren Buffett

The difference between those who have succeeded and those who have failed lies in the difference between good and bad habits because we ultimately become what we do repeatedly.

We’re domed to miss deadlines if we habitually procrastinate due to habitual laziness. We’re meant to succeed when we habitually follow thru our plan — acting and finishing tasks exactly at the planned time.

Two methodologies on habit formation:
1. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino: 10 scrolls
2. BJ Fogg’s Behaviour Model: Motivation, Simplicity and Triggers

Skill 5: Managing Motivation

Programming goals into daily routines is the most effective, if not the only, way to achieve our goals and thus becoming successful. However, it’s easy to lose sight of how daily routines are connected to where we start: meaningful big goals in life.

Three practices to keep motivated:
1. celebrate every time a task is finished and a habit is followed
2. paint vivid details of the ultimate goals every day
3. review how every actions are benefiting the achievement of goals

Skill 6: Killing Procrastination

If all above is followed thru, the single enemy of becoming successful is procrastination. Again, it must become habitual to spot and kill procrastination whenever it appears.

The fundamental causes of procrastinations are:
1. Fear: “I’m afraid of the result, failure or success.”
2. Helpless: “It’s beyond my ability. I can’t.”
3. Rebellion/Laziness: “I don’t care.”
4. Lack of Motivation: “It’s not that important.”
5. Lack of Focus/Tried: (unconsciously picking up other things)
6. Frustrated: “I don’t know where to start.”
7. Perfectionism: “I need to do it with to the single details.”

Ways to tackle them respectively:
1. Turn it into excitement. Fear is a form of excitement that our heart/brain can’t distinguish. “I’m excited to kill this task.”
2. Breaking it down to smaller actions, so small that it’s ridiculous and do it now.
3. Comfort the inner child. Be mature and think objectively – how much harm it brings if you procrastinate, how much time you waste if you procrastinate. Focus on the regret of a grownup.
4. Review its connection to long term goal. If it’s not derived from long term goals, reframing perspective to ground it on values that matters to you, i.e. integrity, keeping promise, looking good.
5. Use this time to review long term goals, breaking down of goals and project status. Reviewing will collect the mind back.
6. Figure out a start point and end point. Again, breaking down the task into sub-task and do it now.
7. Done is better than perfect. Identify areas that must be perfect and only stick to those.

This picture shows various cues of procrastination. It serves a good chart of spotting procrastination and kill it right the way.





One year in Shanghai

Last 29 Dec was my first day in Shanghai. 

Alone on a single ticket, the city welcomed me with the first snow in the year.

Looking back, 2013 is just the beginning of a big adventure. 

I’ll accomplish even more in 2014. Gotta kill it before turing 30!