Peter Drucker: “The man who invented management”

Seville, Spain.

[dropcap style=»default, circle, box, book»]T[/dropcap]oday I am dedicating this post to Peter Drucker, the Austrian lawyer and sage from the twentieth century considered as the great philosopher of company management. For this reason, I would like to highlight some of his thoughts that have had the most profound effect on me, and discuss them so that you can be aware of just how relevant they are even today (despite the fact that some of them were written more than 50 years ago) and how their application can be a major benefit for our companies, above all the MicroSMEs of which I am such a fan. With this in mind, along with the selection of Druckerisms, I will also tell you of how I have applied them to my professional life.

 post 2.21. The knowledge worker: When Peter Drucker spoke of this new concept of worker generalized in the fifties (they always existed, just look at Leonardo da Vinci, if you need an example) he referred to the type of worker whose work not only consisted in performing mechanical and systematic actions, but also rather whose work required knowledge, often achieved through professional training and experience. The most pertinent aspect of this type of worker is that they are the owners of the means of production, and, as such, moveable. A consultant, for example, can carry out their work in one place and survive within their organisation. It is for that reason that it is important to care for the people who work for your company and manage well the knowledge that can be divulged by everybody working therein.

“Knowledge is a resource”

2. The beneficiary of productivity should be the worker, the employee (and quotes Frederick WinslowTaylor, another great mind in the field of company administration and the author ofPrinciples of Scientific Administration): Professional training to improve productivity does not solely benefit the employer, it must also have an effect on the worker, in terms of improved salary, in better working conditions. In this sense, everyone wins and if this happens, company growth is more solid. For this reason, I always devote efforts to internal professional training.

3. “People with knowledge learn more when they teach”. PeterDrucker_3100% true, I myself acknowledge that I am always learning with my blog, courses and talks. As I said in my post entitled:Reinvestment in order to be a winner and build yourself a future: on-going professional training, the only means of being able to innovate continually.“They help me to learn and to organise the knowledge I have acquired through experience. I can conceptualise them better after having studied them.” Amongst the activities I include in the process of internal professional training I mentioned in point two, I never forget to get the project leaders to explain to the rest of the team the projects or activities they are involved in.

4. In guerilla warfare each man is an executive: Drucker tells us that he asked a sergeant, I believe it could have been in the Vietnam orKorea War, how he managed to get his orders across to his men in the full throes of battle. The officer said that at those moments he was unable to give orders and that his method was to train them so well so that when called upon, they would be capable of knowing what to do or making decisions that would best suit his needs. I repeat, train.

5.Reasons for losing time. Drucker says there are a multitude of these, poor organisation, over-staffing… Yet there is one thing that I would like to reiterate, deficient information. I talked about this in my post entitledThesecretstobeing a goodproject leader

“ For this reason I recommend that the project be explained overall to and by everyone. You have to try to get the best out of each person. In short, you must be a good resource manager as well as having the technical know-how”

Furthermore, this is related to the management of documentation that I have also mentioned in previous posts.

6. He talks a great deal about couragein his publications: He states that through courage, more than any other type of analysis, one achieves the focus to be able to decide on priorities. Below is a selection of some of the ones he quotes.

1. Choose the future over the past.

2. Focus on the opportunity, more than the problem.

3. Choose your own pace, instead of following the crowd.

4. Aim towards a real challenge and not something sure-fire and easy to accomplish.

peter-drucker-businsess-quotes27. In leadership, charisma has little bearing. 

When I read this, that was me hooked, I could not stop until I had fully grasped his point. The first thing he says is that “leadership for leadership’s sake is not good, or desirable, it is a means to an end”. Yet it was not this statement what left me open-mouthed, it was, contrarily, his reflections on poor leaders throughout History that really impressed me: “History has yet to meet more charismatic leaders that the triumvirate of Stalin, Hitler and Mao, bad leaders who inflicted so much hardship and suffering upon humanity…” On the other hand, he also mentions leaders who seem somewhat darker, though whom he considers much more effective with the charisma of a dead fish): Lincoln, Churchill, Eisenhower, Marshall and Truman, for example:

“History has yet to meet more charismatic leaders that the triumvirate of Stalin, Hitler and Mao, bad leaders who inflicted so much hardship and suffering upon humanity…”

8.In order to innovate, you have to get out there, look around, ask and listen: Well, I will have already bored the hind teeth off of all of you with my constant championing of attending Congresses to meet and listen to people. I like to get out into the field to see the lie of the land and get to know the countries where my projects will be carried out, or where I wish to carry them out.

9.  What is a worldly person?Some ready for the challenges that tomorrow can throw at them for life in a global world. It will be a more westernised world, though at the same time continually more trivialised..

An intelligent person must become a “citizen of the world” with regard to their vision, outlook, horizons and the information they have on hand. Yet they must be fed on their local roots, imbibing their own culture”. I was left speechless when I read this, and thought “he has read my mind”, though, of course, he came up with it before me, so never stop reading the master.

10.A reason why one deserves to be remembered is what they represent in the lives of the people they know: I could not agree more and will explain why. I would also like to be remembered, not for my books or my companies, but rather because I have contributed to improvements in terms of knowledge and the environment around me, in short, a contribution to the civil society, something we seem to have left by the wayside in recent times. I do not wish solely to philosophise, I also wish to apply principles to life and make them work.


And now, I encourage you to share your opinions on the ten points I have mentioned and discuss Peter Drucker of you are au fait with his work.


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