My Week at the Beach with Peter Drucker (April 2022)

Hello Everyone.

Let’s all welcome a new month. 

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Today’s post was inspired by the week I spent with Peter Drucker in June 2021. 

Okay, because Peter Drucker died in 2005 – he was not physically at the beach with us, but he was with me through books.  Many of you might already know about Peter Drucker because he is often referred to as “the man who invented management.”

Last summer, I brought a bag of books to read and the top two were Daily Drucker (2004, Harper Business) and A class with Drucker (2008, AMACOM) by William A. Cohen. 
  1. The Daily Drucker(2004) is a year-long daily devotional. Each entry offers an excerpt from the 35 books Drucker had written by that time (he wrote a total of 39).  A professor friend of his (Joseph A. Marciariello) came up with the idea and Drucker helped pick each entry. If you want to check out Peter Drucker’s work and do not know where to start, I would say this 2004 book might be a great option. It is about leadership effectiveness, and as we all know, many leadership principles apply to multiple life areas.  There are also good analogies and a variety of topics covered,
  2. A Class with Drucker by William A. Cohen (2008) was a surprise delight. Cohen was a former student and so he began the book with some details from when he was a student. Cohen added so many small details, like how Drucker always made sure the students really understood facts/concepts before moving on and how Drucker notoriously rolled up his shirt sleeves when he lectured. This book was rather long, but perhaps it needed to be. Not everything has to be as succinct as possible. And the few extra stories -like about the rebel side of Drucker, enriched the reading. Cohen ends each chapter with a “Drucker Lesson Summary” and then ends the entire book with a note about how Drucker overcame many obstacles in life (nothing was handed to him) and how he practiced the principles he taught: Drucker hustled, worked hard, and found ways to utilize his natural abilities in order to succeed in work and life. 

Drucker Institute: https://www.drucker.institute

Drucker’s Practical Advice 

Peter Drucker greatly impacted the area of business management; however, did you know he never really set out to focus on the area of business? His goal was to help people thrive. He was more interested in societal connections and layers in life, which of course interconnected to the world of work. Drucker wanted to help develop what he called “a functioning society” (remember that many decades ago that term was new). His practical ideas and seasoned insight included tips like these:

  • Everyone should approach problems with their ignorance.
  • Top executives should not keep the same position for more than six years.
  • Some so-called menial tasks can only be done by the boss.
  • Self-confidence is a necessity.
  • We should develop expertise outside of our main fields.
  • What everyone knows is frequently wrong.
  • Find ways to use your strengths rather than over focusing on weaknesses (which aligns with tenets of Positive Psychology). 
  • Self-development is not a waste of time – it is crucial for your wellness and success. 

Drucker as Writer

This is from Drcuker’s website (here):

“Sometimes, if he (Drucker) wanted to be provocative, he’d say that he was a “social ecologist,” observing our man-made environment the way a natural ecologist examines the biological world. Most of the time, though, he’d keep it simple: “I’m a writer.”

INTERVIEWER: If you describe your occupation, would it be ‘writer’?

DRUCKER: I always say I write.

INTERVIEWER: What, then, has inspired your books more than anything?

DRUCKER: The same thing that inspires tuberculosis. This is a serious, degenerative, compulsive disorder and addiction.

INTERVIEWER: An addiction to writing?

DRUCKER: To writing, yes.

Through some 10,000 book pages and countless articles, Drucker displayed incredible powers of observation—to “look out the window and see what’s visible but not yet seen,” as he put it. In fact, he discerned many of the major trends of the 20th century before almost anyone else did: the Hitler-Stalin pact, Japan’s impending rise to economic power, the shift from manufacturing to knowledge work, the increasing importance of the social sector, the fall of the Soviet Union. Above all, he wrote about the need for all of our institutions to flourish in order to have a functioning society. In this way, “probably no writer of the second half of the 20th century has had more influence for the good,” Jack Beatty, Drucker’s biographer, has asserted. Drucker wrote 39 books in all. They were mostly about management, economy, polity and society, but there were two novels among them.”

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Drucker at the Beach

I took a variety of books with me that week and did not think Peter Drucker would have been the key takeaway. It was another reminder about how we need to buy a variety of books and then stay open to what we might need at different times.

  • Have you enjoyed any of Drucker’s books, seminars, or workshops? 
  • Was Peter Drucker new to you with this post? 
  • Does he remind you of other authors?
  • Are you reading anything awesome right now? 
  • Last month, I also had the chance to read at the beach and so I will be sharing about those books in the next scheduled post for my April 2022 series. See you then….

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52 thoughts on “My Week at the Beach with Peter Drucker (April 2022)

  1. HI! Enjoy having some down time! This is the first I heard of Pete Drucker. I do like his tips of practical advice! Very good. Love his answer to the interviewer as well, about writing being an addiction. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi joy roses – cheers to the writing part- and we know that “writers gotta write” cause it is in the DNA.
      Thanks for the comment ☀️☀️

      Like

  2. I remember Peter Drucker but what I remember is how no one I knew liked his advice. I never read anything by him because of their negative opinions about him. And isn’t that interesting? Hope you are enjoying your more relaxing days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that you mention it I also know a few folks that were
      NOT “drucker” fans – and in The second book, by Cohen, his former student, he mentioned some of the resistance encountered as many ideas were non conventional.
      I also think Drucker was addressing issues we don’t really see as much today (even though many workplaces still need so much help)
      Thanks for sharing

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Back in prehistoric days – well, 1979 – when I did my MBA there were two books that were required reading for the General Management course, one each by Peter Drucker and Robert Albanese. The latter was used as the main course syllabus, and it was as dry as a desert. All of us much preferred Drucker!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Clive – I think I remember you mentioning The MBA reading a while ago – either way – cheers to Drucker balancing out the Robert Albanese book. I have never heard of him and will see if I have anything in my files (I still have a lot of leadership and management ebooks and pdfs).
      Oh and fun to learn more about the prehistoric days!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I quite enjoyed this, Yvette. I don’t know a lot about Drucker but he sounds like someone I might want to read. I’ve been mostly reading fiction but for non-fiction I’ve read some books about sustainable farming, growing food in the city, and similar things. I’m also reading an autobiography of/by Frederick Forsyth which is quite fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Janet – it sounds like you do have a nice variety and it has me intrigued – not sure I know Forsyth- and the others sound insightful like the city growing and sustainable farming

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Although I have heard of him, I know very little about Peter Drucker. Sounds interesting. I don’t always get into management/business/etc books (sometimes I wished I did) – I quickly get bored – but I am sure some of his might be interesting, maybe starting with that “taste of” style, the daily Drucker.
    Maybe not everyone’s idea of light beach reading, but glad you enjoyed it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Trent
      Thanks for checking out this post (as I left the link for ya) and I half expected to be bored with the Drucker books but because Cohen wrote little extras – that book moved fast for me – could feel him putting in the Cassette tape on the way to class.
      Also / one can never really
      Define beach reading –
      It can vary greatly eh?
      And guess what? About 10 years ago I read a dickens novel (part of it) at the beach – had to pass the day waiting for my son to finish something – it was long before I knew ya so no challenge group read (just kidding) anyhow – it was a little slow going but was nice to dive in (pun)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have never heard of him! What do you find so intriguing, his depth? Specifically his business advice or his views of the world overall?

    Like

    1. Hi Chel, thanks for your comment. I liked his advice on self-development and views overall. He has tips for time management, advocating for a cause, and for the way we go about our work and projects.
      Drucker also uses clever examples to lead into a point. For example, in the daily devotional, the October 1st entry titled “Pursuing Perfection” opens talking about a Greek sculpture and then he mentions a quote from Verdi about how he was writing his next opera (at 80) and trying to make it a little better because perfection always eluded him.
      Then Drucker shared “whenever people ask me which of my books I consider best, I smile and say,’The Next.'” And he reminds folks to work earnestly with excellence (and maybe the perfection word needs to be dropped) but it is his well-rounded ideas and knowledge that makes him interesting.
      Of course there is a lot of business tidbits and while some of that will never apply to me – there are tips that do apply to anyone who works, leads, buys, and lives in a business world.
      Did that answer your question?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi – well do you mean applicable to your writing? I would say that Drucker’s books might indirectly help with that
          because you know, anytime we learn about certain topics and expand our knowledge that trickles over into all that we do. However, you might want to get a used copy of the devotional at some point – they have a lot of used copies on amazon (great prices too) and so if you didn’t like it the cost would not be too great.

          Also, because he did have such an impact on the business world – and is like Picasso was to art – this fatherly role – well I would eventually suggest everyone skim his books to get a feel for such a significant contributor to management. I had to read some of his stuff for certain classes but didn’t really “read him” and that is why I took some of those books to the beach – to broaden and build.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. here is the amazon description of the Daily Drucker book:
          Revered management thinker Peter F. Drucker is our trusted guide in this thoughtful, day-by-day companion that offers his penetrating and practical wisdom. Amid the multiple pressures of our daily work lives, The Daily Drucker provides the inspiration and advice to meet the many challenges we face. With his trademark clarity, vision, and humanity, Drucker sets out his ideas on a broad swath of key topics, from time management, to innovation, to outsourcing, providing useful insights for each day of the year.

          These 366 daily readings have been harvested from Drucker’s lifetime of work. At the bottom of each page, the reader will find an action point that spells out exactly how to put Drucker’s ideas into practice. It is as if the wisest and most action-oriented management consultant in the world is in the room, offering his timeless gems of advice. The Daily Drucker is for anyone who seeks to understand and put to use Drucker’s powerful words and ideas.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes this is the first I heard of him. I thought it was an unusual choice for the beach but from your post I can see he’s not dry at all but very interesting and I wish he were widely read or that I’d known about him when I worked within big seemingly uncaring organisations. Enjoy your break – if it is a break. Currently I’m reading The Promise by Damon Galgut, which demonstrates an impressive fluidity. I’m addicted to writing too so I understand that very well! Mr Drucker sounds more focused though. My struggle is to finish and move on, finish and move on.

    Like

    1. Hi Maria, thanks for reading.
      You sound so self-aware – of who you are and of your MO.
      And not everyone is wired to “finish and move on” – because some creative minds have to move among projects or
      they just have a different flow. So I guess on one hand we can aim for a new flow but I think other times we might have to
      see if a pattern is part of our essence (okay, not sure that made sense but I think you know what I mean).
      and I am going to be taking time away during April – I must so I can tackle a few things (make that – so I can finish them and move on – ha) and I am not doing any challenges this month so having the content all ready to go is part of my break or changing it up.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi – well I will still be around for part of the month – but two things are different – I have scheduled my content for the month and so “no challenges” (yikes) and then I will just have some time away during the month while posts are published – not sure if that makes sense

      Like

    1. Thank you Jacqui for sharing that and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked his stuff.
      Then when I saw that he sometimes called himself a “social ecologist” I realized that was part of what
      clicked with me – it was the social psychology connections as well as rich insight he had.
      hope your weekend is going well
      🙂

      Like

  8. I hadn’t heard of Drucker, so glad you made this introduction. I have a son who would benefit from his words.

    Like

    1. VJ, just an idea – but the Daily Drucker devotional might make a GREAT stocking stuffer (and amazon has 106 used copies of this book and I might get a few ore copies because to gift because this also makes a great bathroom book – ha)
      The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for sharing the work of Drucker and his wonderful advice Yvette. I know he would be so humbled and happy to hear his books made it to the beach, thanks to you!💖💖

    Like

    1. Hi Cindy, this author was a pretty humble guy and I bet he would smile to see my putting aside all other books and diving into the Drucker ideas. Also, the daily devotional was published the year before he died, making it a swan song type of gift to leave behind (note to all authors – keep writing and let your books flow as needed) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve read a couple of his books, but I found that there was often an expectation that you could change things that, in a structured office environment, were beyond your control. We even had a seminar, but the assumption seemed to be that everyone (top down) would comply. There were always a few good takeaways, but overall, I found it limited.

    Like

    1. Well Dan, I value your feedback from the field and with your seasoned career I am not surprised that you encountered Drucker.
      Also, great point about compliance or even being able to apply all of his suggestions. Some of them might be great in theory and then also really work in practice, but saying that it is “limited” sounds reasonable. Because change can be so hard and structured environments are often set in their ways and some companies have such a force of momentum that is not always visible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The few times I encountered him, I had very little influence. You’re right about corporate momentum. My boss used to say changing culture was like turning an aircraft carrier.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for sharing, and I enjoyed reading the comments here since you explained more to others as well. I’ve not heard of Peter Drucker but he sounds inspirational and the journal sounds like a good way to get to know him. What a gift he left for us all. Enjoy April, how can it be April already? Haha, time just flies! ❤️

    Like

    1. Hi Di!
      I hope I didn’t overhype the Drucker books i read! I guess I was just so surprised to extra enjoy them (and did read his stuff for school – as noted in the other comments) but it was nice to read casually.
      Hope your weekend is going well
      ☀️🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Sounds like a worthy read. Wise man I’m ashamed not to have heard of. This is the best line: This is a serious, degenerative, compulsive disorder and addiction. 🙂 🙂

    Like

    1. Hahaha!
      That line had me laughing too- and it shows a bit about Drucker’s humor and wit! I am sure he was serious (writers need to write and get their fix) but he also has us chuckle and ponder.
      And not sure if you ever get used books – but if you are – stay on the lookout for Drucker ones because I see them a lot
      ☀️📚

      Liked by 1 person

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