Peter F. Drucker

Much of management training is about maximizing profit, market share or efficiency and productivity. Most of management practice is about contributing and requires judgment and balancing competing forces. Peter F. Drucker, in many of his seminal works, focused on this critical aspect of management. These ideas, as examined and put into practice by management experts building on Drucker's ideas, is what is at the center of the Management Matters Network.

Accordingly, we think it is appropriate to provide here this brief summary of Drucker's accomplishments and his role among management experts.

"Like many philosophers, he spoke in plain language that resonated with ordinary managers. Consequently, simple statements from him have influenced untold numbers of daily actions; they did mine over decades."

   - Andrew S. Grove, co-founder of Intel

"The world knows he was the greatest management thinker of the last century." 

  - Jack Welch, former chairman of GE

"He was the creator and inventor of modern management."

 - Tom Peters, much celebrated management guru

"There is constant evidence of the smoothly operating, perceptive mind of the classically educated man who remembered everything, related everything to everything else, and as a consequence, he always discovered, understood, and clarified more about any subject he touched than do most people who have spent a lifetime on that subject."

  - Ted Levitt, former editor of the Harvard Business Review and professor of marketing at the Harvard Business School

"Winston Churchill saved the free world, but Peter F. Drucker showed us how to make that free world work."

 - Jim Collins, best-selling author of Good to Great and co-author of Built to Last

"I always came away from our conversations with clear, fresh insights that I could apply to P&G's business and organization almost immediately."

 - A.G. Lafley, executive chairman of Procter & Gamble     

The list of thankful leaders praising Peter F. Drucker's astonishing body of work is virtually endless.

Peter F. Drucker, “the man who invented management,” wrote his first books, in 1939, and 1942 focused on the role industry and economics play in society.   

At the time, Winston Churchill called Drucker “the greatest thinker alive.”  Drucker’s third book was looking inside General Motors in response to a request from Alfred Sloan. 

Sloan was concerned that the leaders he had mentored would not return from WWII, and much of the creation of management that he had pioneered would be lost. The current leadership at General Motors might be stronger if they read The Concept of The Corporation.

Drucker’s fourth book, The Practice of Management, was written as Drucker was working with General Electric and there was nothing on any shelf about management as a discipline, even in GE’s Crotonville training center, Drucker could not find a book.  

Drucker went on to write 39 books and countless articles translated into more than 30 languages including:  The Effective Executive; Managing For Results; The Age Of Discontinuity; Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices; The Unseen Revolution; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Management Challenges For The 21st Century. 

He received the HBR McKinsey award three times, for writing the most influential article of the year.

Peter F. Drucker Led a Management Revolution

He sought not just to make our economy more productive, but to make all of society more productive and more humane. 

Today, Peter F. Drucker's name is synonymous with effective management. His teachings form the blueprint for every manager charged with the awesome responsibility of making the right things happen.

John Byrne, former executive editor of Business Week, perhaps best summed up Drucker's contributions when he said:

“In a world of quick fixes and glib explanations, a world of fads and simplistic PowerPoint lessons, Drucker understood that the job of leading people and institutions is filled with complexity…"

He taught generations of managers the importance of picking the best people, of focusing on opportunities and not problems, of sitting on the same side of the desk as your customer, of the need to understand your competitive advantages and continue to refine them.

Simply put, Drucker rendered explicit what might be called the best-kept secrets of management success.

These secrets contain principles and practices that can guide you in thinking through what must be done and how to do it.