Peter Drucker is one of America's foremost consultants on business management. He has written over twenty books on the subject, including Managing For Results, The Effective Executive, and Management: Tasks, Practices, Responsibility. Since 1971 he has been the Clarke Professor of Social Sciences at the Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California.
Professor Drucker has also done some thinking on the use of management in the local church. He has done consultations on management questions for several religious organizations and has spoken about management and ministry to divinity students at the School of Theology at Claremont.
"Know Thy Time" is an excerpt from Drucker's book The Effective Executive, published by Harper and Row. It is obviously aimed at a business audience, so not everything applies to local church ministry. But we think that, with some judicious translation and editing, you can distill a lot of valuable information on the stewardship of time for the church leader.
To help with this, we have included here some remarks Professor Drucker gave to students at the School of Theology at Claremont that help put his views on the uniqueness of ministry in perspective.
Most discussions of the executive's task start with the advice to plan one's work. This sounds eminently plausible. The only thing wrong with it is that it rarely works. The plans always remain on paper, always remain good intentions. They seldom turn into achievement.
Effective executives, in my observation, do not start with their tasks. They start with their time. And they do not start out with planning. They start by finding out where their time actually goes. Then they attempt to manage their time and to cut back unproductive demands on their time. ...