Being an Effective Executive

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Veteran, new and aspiring executives need methods to be successful in their organization. There are 1000s of leadership podcasts, videos, blogs, and articles but few authors address what to do or how to do it.

We have witnessed many executives who are efficient (doing things right), but few executives are effective (doing the right things). We believe this is misguided and aim to remedy the shortfall with executives.

This is the 75th episode of the Mind Your Noodles podcast. In this episode, Tripp discusses Dr. Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive. Download our FREE Effective Executive Starter Kit.
Resources mentioned in this episode:


[00:00:01] Mind Your Noodles Episode 75 – Being an Effective Executive
[00:04:04] Executives Only?
[00:05:01] Efficient vs Effective
[00:07:56] Drucker’s 8 Practices of Effective Executives
[00:08:34] Focus: What needs to be done? What is right for the enterprise?
[00:11:56] Customer Lens
[00:15:19] Thinking Lens


Tripp Babbitt: [00:00:01] Ok, this is the seventy-fifth episode of the Mind Your Noodles podcast, if you’re listening to this through the podcast, as opposed to YouTube, which is the video and why you see me moving around is I now do video, I have the podcast, and I will soon, maybe even starting today, start a blog based on this information. I did actually a blog for about six years and I used to post every day, but I didn’t get that much out of it. And video seems to be something that more people prefer to get their information. But if you’re driving a car, obviously, that would be very difficult. So change of music for the intro. So you be able to tell the difference between when I was more focused on the neuroscience of things and now with the new music starting, you’ll be able to differentiate between when I pivoted on the podcast. So I used to do very long intros. If you listen to the Deming Institute podcast that I do, I thought that was the cool thing because I listened to people’s podcasts and you get very long intros, those types of things. But I noticed a kind of a trend lately that those seem to be shortening. And with my audience being executives who don’t like to sit around for, you know, 30 seconds listening to what the podcast is necessarily about. So I’m going to get right into it. We focused for the first 74 episodes on neuroscience. And really, that’s the why you think the way that you do a lot of the focus of understanding the neuroscience. And I just didn’t think that that was a broad enough umbrella to look at your thinking more broadly as far as how it impacts your organization. I think it’s helpful.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:02:04] I think there’s all kinds of things you use.If you use the executive education program I put together, you’ll find that one of the other changes that I’ve made is I’ve updated the Mind Your Noodles podcast website and the ninety five method dot com website and they kind of will connect back and forth between the two. You might find some redundant information at the Mind Your Noodles podcast, but the ninety five method, for instance, will link to the Mind Your Noodles podcast because I’m not going to put it in two different places. More information about the 95 method at the 95 method dot com and you can take a look for yourself and see what the differences are. And I’m making lots of changes over the next two to four weeks in that I started some to some of the changes over the weekend.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:03:01] But I think the aim is still the same effect. This is the thing when you go to the 95 method Website, the aim or what the saying may be would be a better word is change the way you think, change the results you see, and that’s really what the focus is. Maybe an aim, as I’ve written it is help make executives and their organizations more effective through better methods and those better, better methods about synthetic thinking and being able to look at a system, being able to construct an aim from the knowledge that you gain.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:03:44] Decision making innovation, executive data analytics and organizational design. Those, to me, are the leverage points and the focus of this particular podcast, as well as the focus of what our organization is about, is making more effective executives now.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:04:04] I’ve had people write me that have said, oh, you’re pivoting to just look at executives, I’m not really an executive, I’m not an existing executive, I’m not a new executive. I’m not an aspiring executive. Well, all these things are going to impact you. And if you have executives out making the wrong decisions about things and this is going to affect maybe your organization’s ability to survive or it also will create a way for you to create value in your organization, no matter what your aspirations are within the organization. So that’s kind of the focus of this. Well, it is the focus of this now. I talked a little I talk a little bit about what are the dimensions of thinking are in order to get to improve performance in an organization.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:05:01] And there’s the concept of being efficient and I and I think it’s important to go through this definition. There’s the concept of being efficient versus being effective. So let’s just a couple of things here. So you could be very efficient at running the meeting. But if the meeting is focused on the wrong things, then that efficiency isn’t very effective. And some people use the metaphor of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:05:37] And that’s kind of the concept. You can look really good. And this is one of the reasons why I want to differentiate this podcast and these videos. And my my training is not about leadership. There’s thousands, literally thousands of podcasts on leadership blogs and things of that sort. Mining is not about leadership. And I’m not saying that that isn’t important. It is important. Leadership is very important.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:06:07] But my focus is on is on giving new methods to improve not only your thinking, but the organization, the way that it thinks and develop theory based on things that I’ve learned over the years. And your beliefs may be different and that’s fine. The whole idea is to expand you as I get expanded to by researching and doing different things. So I want to differentiate that most of the executives that I run into are very efficient thinkers. They have they were experts as engineers or operations or finance or whatever it might be, but they’re not effective.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:06:54] And the reason they’re not effective is because they don’t have in my opinion, they don’t have methods to help kind of take it to the next level. You have to become, in my opinion, and effective in order to become an effective executive. You have to be a synthetic thinker. That’s step one from my perspective. How do I look at the entire system and not just the department that I came out of when I became an executive?

Tripp Babbitt: [00:07:20] So I need to get to as an executive, a veteran executive, new executive, aspiring executive or an employee that just wants to get better as looking at things much differently than the way that maybe you look at them today.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:07:40] So.Doing the right, doing things right versus doing the right thing, and so in this episode, I want to focus on an article and actually a book by Peter Drucker called The Effective Executive.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:07:56] I read it many years ago for my management classes and in my MBA program. And it’s a it’s an excellent book.It was written in nineteen, I believe, 67 or probably written in 66, but released in 67 by Dr. Peter Drucker. And he talks in terms of eight. I think he references them as practices. So the eight things that you need to be an effective executive are what needs to be done, what is right for the enterprise.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:08:34] Then they develop an action plan.You know, you take responsibility for your decisions, your responsibility for communicating, focused on opportunities rather than problems, ran productive meetings and said we versus I when they’re communicating. And I want to focus on the first two, which is what needs to be done and what is right for the enterprise. And these to me are this is where we’re missing method. And again, in my opinion, he doesn’t really provide a method. He points to the few things that I’ll get to hear in just a second. But he’s not providing us with a method to get things done.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:09:25] Now, this article that I’m pulling this from rather than the book was written for the Harvard Business Review back in 2004. And you can get to I put a link to it. I believe Harvard Business Review still allows you to go to these articles, even if you’re not a subscriber. Where and if you’re an executive, be a subscriber. Harvard Business Review. I’m not saying everything that they have there is great, but there is information to keep you up to date on what’s going on. But I believe they give you maybe five or 10 articles a month that you can read or quarter or whatever the number is. So you should be able to get to this article. Unless you’ve used your quota of articles, then you will have to wait a month or whatever.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:10:12] So focusing in on what needs to be done and what is right for the enterprise, go down to looking at opportunities versus problems. And he outlines a few things. I don’t necessarily agree with what he says about not focusing on problems, but let me just go through these things and we’ll talk about it. But an unexpected success or failure in their own enterprise, in a competing enterprise or in the industry. Now, these are where you’re looking for the opportunities, a gap between what is and what could be in a market process, product or service, innovation and a process, product or service, whether inside or outside the enterprise or its industry. Changes in industry, structure and market structure, changes and demographics, changes in mindset, values, perception, mood or meeting and new knowledge or a new technology. So these are some of the things where he’s saying, look for opportunities in these things in order to become an effective executive.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:11:28] And I think these are really good things. But he doesn’t really provide you a method to do it. And that’s where this particular podcast and what we want to be able to do is provide method to make you a more effective executive by looking at the way that you think and also provide a new method to help with that thinking.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:11:56] And so.I believe that what we’ve put together in the executive education program now, I’m going to put a little plug in here, you can download at the 95 kit. I have effective executive starter kit, and I’ll take you through very high level what’s covered in the broader program. But it’ll give you an opportunity to see a method you go through to go from being from going from doing things right to doing the right thing and have a method to do that. That’s a focus of the executive education program. I would say that the things that Dr. Drucker has laid out in this article and in his book are a good but again, we’re missing method and you need a method to do this, to get an understanding, to be able to innovate, to be able to make better decisions, to design your organization, to look at data. And that’s a focus or even constructing the aim from. But it all begins with an understanding of the system that you work in. And this is the synthetic thinking portion. Now, I’ve talked before about people that are most of us are all analytical thinkers, but as you become an executive, you need to think more broadly about your system and starting very what I would call probably foundational or elementary is going from that departmental thinking that you had when you were an engineer and finance or whatever it is, and moving to looking at the broader organization. And more importantly, as we start to talk about synthetic thinking in the interaction of the parts, how does engineering interact with finance to create good service? Now, the whole approach here is, first of all, getting an understanding of what’s important to customers, and so we look through a customer lens in order to accomplish that, looking through that customer lens will help you see some of the gaps that will let you see some of the things that are going on now.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:14:33] We’ll help you innovate, Per say, because it will help you improve your performance, but it won’t necessarily help you innovate because innovation is something that’s newer. It’s was the scene of Edwards Deming that no one ever asked for a light bulb. You you have to have deep knowledge of your business in order to innovate here. We’re talking in terms of of looking at your organization as a system through a customer lens to get a necessary understanding of what our performance is and how the interaction of the parts are operating in that system. So that’s the first part.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:15:19] The second part then is getting into what our thinking is, how do we think about the organization? And to leverage points that I talk about quite a bit are our motivation and control. Those two things make up a large percentage depending on your organization. I’m not going to quote a percentage. That’s something that you would need to do, is affecting the performance that the customers see and the performance of even having a method to go into innovation. What’s your thinking about this stuff? And that’s really what the executives executive education program is about.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:16:05] But getting back to Drucker’s article, I think it’s it’s good to lay the foundation of the knowledge that you need in order to become an effective executive and have a method to do it. And you may have one if you do great, keep with it. But it goes down to what needs to be done. And that’s not necessarily just what the boss says or if you’re an executive, possibly the CEO of the company or the president of the company.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:16:40] And what is right for the enterprise, and this is the type of thing that we supply you is a method to do that. So.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:16:55] One of the things that that I’ve learned is people have to enter this on their own, I can’t change. I will not be able to change your thinking. And neuroscience tells us this, right? Even psychology tells us this. I your thinking is embedded in some of the things that have been successful for you. And there are certain other things that you’re going to avoid because we’re very risk averse types of people. What I’m attempting to supply here is that I can’t change your thinking, but I’m going to give you methods to go through in order to change your own thinking. And that is really the difference here is how do you go about changing your own thinking? Well, if you start to look through a customer lens, you’re going to see something a little bit different than maybe what you expected. And then as you get into the thinking lens, now you’re talking in terms of, OK, so it’s been set up that way or the employee thinks that way or the customer thinks that way. Why is that? What are we doing typically around motivation and control, but it can be many other things. What are we doing in our organization and creating the type of performance that we’re getting today? And, you know, as you go through this process, it’s not to be critical. I don’t have the perfect answer for you. You do. I’m providing you a method to go through and look at those things so that you can begin to look at things differently. And I think that that’s the difference here is, is the innovation comes about by you absorbing the information that I’m that I’m providing and then, you know, using that information in a way to come up with new ways of doing things that are potentially better. Now, you’re going to go through failures, too, right?

Tripp Babbitt: [00:19:01] We just don’t want to blow up the whole system. If we’re going to be an effective executive. We want to do things on a small scale before we start rolling out and blowing up the whole organization if it’s the wrong thing to do.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:19:13] The other thing is you can’t do it top down. You have to you will ultimately have to get people involved. But you do that by developing what I call a system map from this customer lens and from this thinking lens and then being able to pull in other people to help look at do they see the same thing you do?

Tripp Babbitt: [00:19:34] Because the more people that do, and especially if you get a critical mass of people within the organization seeing things the same way you’re seeing them as you. Look through the customer lens as you look through the thinking lens and saying, what else could we do? Maybe one other thinking, do we need to change in our organization in order to get better and then try that on a small scale in order to make it better? So this is the effective executive, I think is an excellent book. Please read it. I think it’s real good or as a substitute potentially the article, the 2004 article that I put a link to in the show notes. But I think these things are the ones that support what an effective executive executive should be doing, but doesn’t provide you with the method. And again, to be redundant. I believe that what we’re trying to build here in the podcast, what we’re trying to build with the executive education program, is something that that you can follow. It’s imperfect. I will be the first to admit it. It’s not a perfect system. But getting that synthetic thinking of looking through the customer lens and the thinking lens will then lay the foundation where then you can construct a solid aim and then we can start to add the other modules into the training on decision making and innovation and executive data analytics and organizational design.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:21:11] Step one, understand yourself, understand how you think, how your organization thinks and knowing this self is a good place to start. So that was it for this week. Like these are going to be more and deeper discussions about what’s going on with our thinking and organizations. I think you’ll get quite a bit out of it as you listen to these as we move forward. And as I as I will mention again and probably be in the Altro two is please go to the 90 Fatma, the 95 method dot com forward slash starter kit and you get kind of a good overview and five videos. That’s less than 45 minutes you could watch when each day takes, I think, the length of them or anywhere from five to maybe 15 minutes in length and give you a sense of kind of the starter kit for being an effective executive. And it’s free. You just have to let people then say, well, it’s not really free because I have to provide an email. Yes, you have to provide an email if you have interests. But, you know, if you subscribe to something, I always have an unsubscribe button. If it’s something that that just doesn’t fit you. But it will take you through some exercises to help you through what the executive education programs about with podcasts about and what we’re going to be doing moving forward.

Tripp Babbitt: [00:22:45] So thank you. And I will talk to you again next week.


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