Let’s all welcome a new month.
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.”
- 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,
- 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’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.”
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….