Who Is Peter Drucker?

peter drucker business management planning

The Man Who Invented Management

Some business finance planning experts have referred to Peter Drucker as one of the leading minds of the last 100 years. Peter Drucker is probably not a household name to most individuals and yet he has been referred to by many as “The Man Who Invented Management.” Although he died in 2005, he left a business legacy that transcends perhaps any other single person in terms of the lasting impact he had on organizations and managers. His advice and managerial concepts were (and are) “priceless” in the true sense of the word. It has been said that a prominent business author wanted to title an upcoming book “Drucker Was Right” (but ultimately did not).

Please don't overlook my special commentary (Lessons to Be Learned) near the end of this page (before the summary of recommended books).

Why Drucker Now? The First and Best Business Guru

While Peter Drucker is discussed in detail at every business school, the most genuine tribute to his expertise is provided by reviewing how successful companies and other business experts have used his advice on a daily basis (and continue to do so).  Since I referred to Peter Drucker as possibly the first and best business management guru above, I will clarify what I mean by that. Like many words, “guru” has multiple meanings. Some of them are positive and some aren't. It is probably because of the negative connotations of “guru” that Peter Drucker did not think of himself as a “guru” (please see “A Reluctant Guru” below). In using “guru” as just one of many ways to talk about Peter Drucker, I certainly am intending to allude to only the most favorable qualities of the word. The following contemporary and non-religious interpretations of guru are most relevant to my attribution that Peter Drucker can be accurately and respectfully referred to as a superb business planning guru.

  • One who dispels ignorance
  • Someone who imparts knowledge to another
  • An experienced and enlightened advisor
  • A wise teacher

 A Reluctant Guru

Peter Drucker is often referred to as a business management and planning “guru.” In my view, he was the first and best business guru, but Peter Drucker nevertheless did not think of himself in these terms. He supposedly once said that “we are using the word 'guru' only because 'charlatan' is too long to fit into a headline.”

Planning and Predicting

Peter Drucker is regularly given credit for predicting significant business changes before they occurred. One of his many astute observations provides some insights about how he managed to see so well into the future:

The best way to predict the future is to plan it.
He was full of wisdom in almost everything he had to say. Here are two more examples:
The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

One More Thing

Plan B and Plan C and Plan D

Peter Drucker seems to represent ground zero for business and management planning. I can't think of anyone who is more responsible than Peter Drucker for my own ingrained beliefs about the enduring value of contingency planning. “Always have a Plan B” is literally on my mind each and every day.

Lessons to Be Learned — An Enduring Legacy

Where should I start? Businesses and individuals everywhere are better off because of The Man Who Invented Management. Based on my own extended personal experience, the combined value of business planning and business communication were firmly implanted in my psyche by Peter Drucker and his extensive works.

He was often (far) ahead of his time. This is not just my opinion but one that is shared by many others. This observation can be illustrated by his persistence about the critical importance of businesses (and individuals) planning ahead. I have morphed his planning philosophies into a specialized version which I refer to as contingency business finance planning. The speed of change for business has accelerated dramatically since this expert management and planning guru made his primary observations. As a direct result, companies not engaging in some variation of contingency planning are now at a distinct disadvantage.

Of equal importance in today's high-speed economy is his advocacy of more effective business communicating. While this was always an astute observation, I have seen it blossom in importance during recent years. I view the juxtaposition of business communication and contingency business planning as perhaps the single most critical factor contributing to my own success on behalf of clients.

We should all feel fortunate that Peter Drucker had a leading role, a supporting role, and a behind-the-scenes role in our lives.

A Social Ecologist

Peter Drucker usually described himself as a social ecologist.

Peter Drucker was born November 19, 1909 in Austria-Hungary and died November 11, 2005 in Claremont, California (just before his 96th birthday).

A Recommended Peter Drucker Book Collection

The Essential Drucker — The Best of Peter Drucker

This is a collection of Peter Drucker's best work and advice from 10 different books that he wrote. The selection of what to include was made by Peter Drucker. This book consists of 26 selections identified by Peter Drucker to help anyone identify which of his writings are most essential (from 10 of his previous books). It is an ideal introduction for anyone not already familiar with his work.

Managing Oneself — What Could Be More Important?

Peter Drucker wrote this superb book to help each of us realize that we need to "manage ourselves" as part of taking charge of our careers. Before the rest of us even started to realize it, Peter Drucker observed how companies were beginning to treat their employees differently. In response his advice was that each individual needed to take charge of their own careers and "manage themselves."

The Effective Executive — Get the Right Things Done

As Peter Drucker observed, "Effectiveness is doing the right things." Here is the book he wrote to help us accomplish that challenging mission.

The Five Most Important Questions

Peter Drucker was always an advocate of self-assessment, both for individuals and organizations. Published after his death, this book provides a straightforward and concise guide for business owners and managers to learn what they really need to know about their organization.

Adventures of a Bystander — Peter Drucker Autobiography

As one reader suggested, this is like having a ringside seat to watch and talk to one of the leading minds of the last 100 years. This is not the usual autobiography and deserves to be read by anyone interested in understanding how Peter Drucker became the business and management icon that he will always be.

No comments:

Post a Comment