I am an ardent follower of Peter Drucker and it is an honor to share his ideas and insights. In fact, I have been sharing Peter Drucker’s wisdom with my students and audiences during my leadership development training programs regularly for many years, and most of my books contain his management ideas, insights, and quotes.
I have been influenced by Peter Drucker when I joined an MBA degree in 1990 while serving in Indian Air Force. I was becoming more enthusiastic and curious whenever I was reading about him. I realized that I was being influenced and inspired by his management theories and practices. I read some of his books and a few books about him written by others. It is a coincidence that some of my passions including writing, teaching, and consulting; and hobbies including swimming and trekking have matched with him especially the work-life balance. I am also a family-oriented person the way he was. And becoming a management educator was my second career the way it became for him. He was passionate about his students the way I am passionate about my students and keep in contact with them telephonically. Additionally, my vision is to build one million students as global leaders by 2030. I dedicated my award-winning book ‘Soft Leadership: A New Direction to Leadership’ to Peter Drucker and Philip Kotler has written a foreword.
Peter Drucker’s Ideas and Insights
Peter Drucker was a pioneer of several concepts including privatization, decentralization, and management by objective (MBO). He was the first management thinker who emphasized more on character rather than charisma. He was the first to treat employees as an asset, not an expense. He considered employees volunteers. He emphasized the importance of cash flow as the primary thing while profit as the secondary thing. He could easily bridge the gap between theory and practice by offering simple solutions to complex issues. He was a consultant to Procter & Gamble and IBM; and nonprofits including the American Red Cross and the Girl Scouts of the USA. His first client was General Motors. He was a workaholic who believed that hard work is essential for people living with passion and purpose. He disliked being called Guru.
Peter Drucker―The Management Thinker Who Saw the Invisible
Peter Drucker believed that the future will be promising if management puts aside its predispositions and the old assumptions inherent in its “theory of the business.” He emphasized the importance of the social sector and nonprofits. He opined that employees must be shared with management experience to enable them to understand the functions of management and serve their communities better. He emphasized the role of millennials much before the term came into vogue. He remarked, “If young people are to be attracted to management, they must be offered challenge and opportunity, social and moral leadership, and intellectual reward as well as money.” He emphasized lifelong learning and implored to acquire adaptability and flexibility to embrace technology which is the first step toward success. He elaborated that knowledge management includes managing information, managing the way people share, and applying the knowledge effectively. He was a visionary who predicted the future. He coined knowledge workers and their importance much before the term ‘war for talent’ was coined. In fact, some of the current management concepts have been copied from his theories and practices. He revolutionized several management theories and concepts―social entrepreneurship, second career, innovation, time management, decision making, employee engagement, employee empowerment, and MBO. The concept of MBO is still relevant even today.
Peter Drucker predicted the rise of Japan as an industrial power. Ford Motor Company successfully implemented his ideas after World War II. General Electric under the leadership of Jack Welch effectively applied his ideas. He predicted that India will become a powerhouse very fast. He predicted China’s enormous manufacturing potential. However, he was more bullish about India’s economic outlook than China. He was the first management thinker who foresaw tomorrow. He saw the invisible.
Peter Drucker―Technology, Humanity, and Prosperity
It is very clear that Peter Drucker predicted the increased importance of automation. As technology cannot replace teachers, technology cannot replace humans because technology always remains as a servant to humans. No amount of artificial intelligence can replace human imagination. Imagination is more important than intelligence and knowledge. Humans are gifted with the power of imagination and they created automation for human progress and prosperity. Hence, it is improper to predict that technology can replace humans. However, technology can make a few jobs redundant that are repetitive in nature. In fact, technology will create more employment if used thoughtfully. It is all in the hands of humans whether to use technology for good or bad.
Keeping Peter Drucker’s Legacy Alive!
Peter Drucker was against academic arrogance. He made his theories and concepts accessible to the layperson. He believed in the philosophy of ‘sharing is caring.” He was considered an intellectual guide. His influence is beyond America and across the world. He enlightened that the important task for top management in the next society’s corporation must be to balance three dimensions―economic organization adopted by America, human organization practiced by Japan, and social organization followed by Germany.
Peter Drucker is in a league of his own. It is obvious from his 39 published books and award-winning articles that he will continue to inspire the discipline of management in the future. He was the rarest management thinker who added immense value to the discipline of management with his philosophy, principles, and practices. If there were Nobel Prize for management discipline, Peter Drucker would have been the first person to bag it. It is rightly remarked, “There isn’t any Nobel Prize for management thinking. But it’s just as well because it would have been won every year by the same man―Peter Drucker.”
Thanks to Peter Drucker’s efforts and intellectual contributions that management as a discipline has achieved sanctity globally. No other management thinker has impacted the way Peter Drucker impacted with his ideals and ideas. It is a testimony about his legacy.
Peter Drucker still lives in the hearts of management thinkers globally. He connects all management thinkers across the globe emotionally to come under one platform forgetting their ideological differences to offer a human dimension to management. His ideas and insights are immortal. He is more relevant today than ever before. Although the world has changed drastically due to the rapid growth in technology, his ideas on humanity, technology, and prosperity are still relevant. That is the legacy Peter Drucker has left for us! And onus lies with us to keep his legacy alive and take it forward to build a better world.
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