Peter Drucker has written so many books but the two I really enjoyed which covered most of his teachings is “The Essential Drucker” and “The Daily Drucker.” Here are the seven lessons I gleaned from the teachings of the legendary Peter Drucker.
The purpose of business: This is a very important lesson to learn. The purpose of business is not to make profit, but it is to create a customer. This is a key distinction as any successful organization concentrates on its customers. This will eventually result in profit. For example, one of the key values of Amazon is customer obsession. Focus on creating customers and keeping them. This will ensure you are profitable for the long term.
Creative abandonment: This is a wonderful principle which is applicable for our personal lives as well. Ask yourself if you would still be in this business knowing what you now know. I believe this is the principle that Jack Welch used to make the decision that GE will remain only in businesses where they can be number 1 or number 2. Even in your personal life it is all about ignoring your sunk costs. If something is not working even if you invested a lot of money, time and energy into it you should get out of it.
Leadership: Leadership is a privilege and it is a responsibility. The responsibility of a leader is to achieve the company’s mission and objectives. The leader also takes responsibility when things go wrong and gives credit to the team for victories. My own view on leadership is it is all about dreaming big, inspiring others and leading by example.
Marketing: According to Peter Drucker management is all about marketing and innovation. There are a few strategies which I liked. There is one called Firstest with the mostest that is get into the market first and attain market leadership. Second is creative imitation which is doing something better than the competition. Third is something called entrepreneurial judo which is all about finding areas where your competition is not doing anything, getting in there doing well and then taking over the areas they are competing in.
Innovation: There are seven sources of innovation Peter Drucker talks about. One of them is the unexpected success because sometimes you get innovative with something you didn’t expect to succeed. Another one is the unexpected failure. A couple of others are related to process need and demographics.
Manage yourself: Peter Drucker famously said it is not about time management, but it is all about how you manage yourself. This quote says it all “In a few hundred years, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time – literally – substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.” Some of the ways to manage yourself are to know what your strengths are and focusing on contribution.
Effective Executive: You can also read his book of the same title. This is all about knowing where your time goes. Effectiveness is best done when you focus on your highest value activities. It also helps if you know which tasks can be delegated. Focus on your strengths and compensate for your weakness. Finally focus on results as this is truly is the icing on the cake.
I think Peter Drucker has done more for management than any other author or speaker. His teachings are timeless and has stood the test of time. Thanks for reading this post.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.