Peter Drucker was a world-famous management consultant whose visionary management theories form the bedrock on which corporate America was built. Knowledge work, corporate social responsibility and organizational culture are just a few of the modern management concepts he conceived or propagated in the pages of his 39 beloved books.
To be clear, Drucker did not invent managers. By most accounts, however, he did invent management. When he began developing and disseminating his famous ideas in the 1940s, the “father of modern management theory” commenced a decadeslong journey during which he orchestrated a fundamental transformation of business leadership from a reactive to a proactive stance. Before Drucker, managers’ highest priority was supervising. Now, thanks to him, it’s strategizing.
“Drucker felt that all businesses need and deserve to be managed well,” said Drucker disciple Bruce Rosenstein, author of two books about the management guru and his theories: Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way and Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life. “Part of that, he believed, was thinking about the future … He recognized that even if you’re really successful now, you will fail later if you’re not thinking about the future.”
In Drucker’s own words: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
It’s just one of many insights Drucker left behind for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors. For business owners and managers who take the time to learn about them, his life and work can yield many more.
Who was Peter Drucker?
Peter Drucker was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1909. He attended college and graduate school in Germany in the early 1930s, where he witnessed – and vocally opposed – the Nazis’ ascent to power. He subsequently fled to England