Peter Drucker (1909-2005)

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

“The best way to predict your future is to create it”

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”

“Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.”

“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old”

“Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.”

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”

“There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.”

“What’s measured improves”

“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes”

“People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.”

“Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems. ”

“The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers.
The true dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.”

“No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.”

“Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window. ”

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”

“When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course. ”

“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship…the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.”

“Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.”

“People in any organization are always attached to the obsolete – the things that should have worked but did not, the things that once were productive and no longer are.”

“A manager is responsible for the application and performance of knowledge. ”

“Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then help to orchestrate the energy of those around you.”

“This defines entrepreneur and entrepreneurship – the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”

“So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”

“The three most charismatic leaders in this century inflicted more suffering on the human race than almost any trio in history: Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. What matters is not the leader’s charisma. What matters is the leader’s mission.”

“Entrepreneurship rests on a theory of economy and society. The theory sees change as normal and indeed as healthy. And it sees the major task in society – and especially in the economy – as doing something different rather than doing better what is already being done. That is basically what Say, two hundred years ago, meant when he coined the term entrepreneur. It was intended as a manifesto and as a declaration of dissent: the entrepreneur upsets and disorganizes. As Joseph Schumpeter formulated it, his task is “creative destruction.”

“We all have a vast number of areas in which we have no talent or skill and little chance of becoming even mediocre. In those areas a knowledge workers should not take on work, jobs and assignments. It takes far more energy to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.”

“The computer is a moron.”

“A person can perform only from strength. One cannot build performance on weakness, let alone on something one cannot do at all.”

“It is more productive to convert an opportunity into results than to solve a problem – which only restores the equilibrium of yesterday.”

“The knowledge that we consider knowledge proves itself in action. What we now mean by knowledge is information in action, information focused on results.”

“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.”

“There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”

“The “non-profit” institution neither supplies goods or services not controls. Its “product” is neither a pair of shoes nor an effective regulation. Its product is a changed human being. The non-profit institutions are human-change agents. Their “product” is a cured patient, a child that learns, a young man or woman grown into a self-respecting adult; a changed human life altogether.”

“The people who work within these industries or public services know that there are basic flaws. But they are almost forced to ignore them and to concentrate instead on patching here, improving there, fighting the fire or caulking that crack. They are thus unable to take the innovation seriously, let alone to try to compete with it. They do not, as a rule, even notice it until it has grown so big as to encroach on their industry or service, by which time it has become irreversible. In the meantime, the innovators have the field to themselves.”

“The companies that refused to make hard choices, or refused to admit that anything much was happening, fared badly. If they survive, it is only because their respective governments will not let them go under.”

“We have only one alternative: either to build a functioning industrial society or see freedom itself disappear in anarchy and tyranny.”

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