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Peter Drucker, often called The Father of Managements left a body of work and wisdom that should be read by every manager, leader and CEO.

The Essenatial Drucker and "Innovation and Entrepreneurship" are two of the best that I recommend to all my coaching clients.

Here is a compilation of some of his best quotes, and ideas, to show you how he turned the complex into the simple to focus and improve.

 

Peter F. Drucker quotes

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” 
― Peter F. DruckerEssential Drucker: Management, the Individual and Society

tags: leadership

 “The best way to predict your future is to create it” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: business

 “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: ideasinnovationnewoldprojectwork

 “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

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

tags: commitmentpersistenceplanningresolve

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

tags: coachingmentoringteachingtraining

 “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: businessdecision-makingleadership

 “Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: leadership

“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.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: leadership

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: business

“Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

“What's measured improves” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: managementmetricsquality-assurance

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

“Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: leadershipmanagementpower

“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.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: managementrisktaking-risks

“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: knowldege

“Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems. ” 
― Peter F. Drucker

“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.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: leadership

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

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

tags: businessentrepreneurshipinnovation

“This defines entrepreneur and entrepreneurship - the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” 
― Peter F. DruckerInnovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles

tags: entrepreneurentrepreneurship

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

tags: management

“Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing people", that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” 
― Peter F. DruckerManagement: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices

tags: leadership

“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.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: leadershipmanagementstrategic-planning

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

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

tags: futuremanagment

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

“When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course. ” 
― Peter F. Drucker

“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.” 
― Peter F. DruckerManaging the Non-Profit Organization: Principles and Practices

“A manager is responsible for the application and performance of knowledge. ” 
― Peter F. Drucker

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: inspirational-quoteslife-quotesmotivational-quotes

“Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: competencestrategy

“Management is about human beings. Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Essential Drucker

“It is more productive to convert an opportunity into results than to solve a problem - which only restores the equilibrium of yesterday.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done

“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.” 
― Peter F. DruckerInnovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles

tags: entrepreneurship

“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.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the 
product or service fits him and sells itself.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: aim-marketing-understand

“There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: businesscustomerentrepreneur

“The computer is a moron. ” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: it

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

8

“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being d; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

“The problem in my life and other people's lives is not the absence of knowing what to do but the absence of doing it.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: life

“Every enterprise requires commitment to common goals and shared values. Without such commitment there is no enterprise; there is only a mob. The enterprise must have simple, clear, and unifying objectives. The mission of the organization has to be clear enough and big enough to provide common vision. The goals that embody it have to be clear, public, and constantly reaffirmed. Management’s first job is to think through, set, and exemplify those objectives, values, and goals. Management” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Essential Drucker

“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.” 
― Peter F. DruckerInnovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles

tags: entrepreneurshipinnovation

“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.” 
― Peter F. DruckerManaging the Non-Profit Organization: Principles and Practices

“The human being is a very poorly designed machine tool. The human being excels in coordination. He excels in relating perception to action. He works best if the entire human being, muscles, senses, and mind, is engaged in the work.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: automationhumanitywork

“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: time-management

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

“Every enterprise is a learning and teaching institution. Training and development must be built into it on all levels—training and development that never stop.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Essential Drucker

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

tags: actionknowledgeoptimism

“To be sure, the fundamental task of management remains the same: to make people capable of joint performance through common goals, common values, the right structure, and the training and development they need to perform and to respond to change.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Essential Drucker

tags: management

“Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves - their strengths, their values, and how they best perform.” 
― Peter F. DruckerManaging Oneself

tags: knowlegdeselfsuccess

“Working on the right things is what makes knowledge work effective.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“Entrepreneurship is "risky" mainly because so few of the so-called entrepreneurs know what they are doing.” 
― Peter F. DruckerInnovation and Entrepreneurship

“Converting a decision into action requires answering several distinct questions: Who has to know of this decision? What action has to be taken? Who is to take it? And what does the action have to be so that the people who have to do it can do it? The first and the last of these are too often overlooked—with dire results.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“The focus on contribution by itself supplies the four basic requirements of effective human relations: communications; teamwork; self-development; and development of others.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“Effectiveness must be learned.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“I read a lot of history, biographies, science, and novels,' he says, ushering a reporter out the door with a hint of relief. 'I do not read management or economics.'

(from an interview in the Christian Science Monitor, July 26, 1993)” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: reading-for-lifereading-habits

“1. What is our mission? 2. Who is our customer? 3. What does the customer value? 4. What are our results? 5. What is our plan?2” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization

“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.” 
― Peter F. DruckerInnovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles

“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

“Entrepreneurs, by definition, shift resources from areas of low productivity and yield to areas of higher productivity and yield. Of course, there is a risk they may not succeed. But if they are even moderately successful, the returns should be more than adequate to offset whatever risk there might be.” 
― Peter F. DruckerInnovation and Entrepreneurship

“Psychological despotism, whether enlightened or not, is gross misuse of psychology. The main purpose of psychology is to acquire insight into, and mastery of, oneself. Not for nothing were what we now call the behavioral sciences originally called the moral sciences and “Know thyself” their main precept. To use psychology to control, dominate, and manipulate others is self-destructive abuse of knowledge. It is also a particularly repugnant form of tyranny.” 
― Peter F. DruckerManagement: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices

“Work is a process, and any process needs to be controlled. To make work productive, therefore, requires building the appropriate controls into the process of work.” 
― Peter F. DruckerManagement: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices

tags: productivitywork

“And it is change that always provides the opportunity for the new and different. Systematic innovation therefore consists in the purposeful and organized search for changes, and in the systematic analysis of the opportunities such changes might offer for economic or social innovation.” 
― Peter F. DruckerInnovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles

tags: changeentrepreneurshipinnovation

“Many brilliant people believe that ideas move mountains. But bulldozers move mountains; ideas show where the bulldozers should go to work.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: brilliance-and-attitudemoving-mountainsselfrealisation

“Direct results always come first. In the care and feeding of an organization, they play the role calories play in the nutrition of the human body.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“The husband and wife who open another delicatessen store or another Mexican restaurant in the American suburb surely take a risk. But are they entrepreneurs? All they do is what has been done many times before. They gamble on the increasing popularity of eating out in their area, but create neither a new satisfaction nor new consumer demand. Seen under this perspective they are surely not entrepreneurs even though theirs is a new venture. McDonald’s, however, was entrepreneurship. It did not invent anything, to be sure. Its final product was what any decent American restaurant had produced years ago. But by applying management concepts and management techniques (asking, What is “value” to the customer?), standardizing the “product,” designing process and tools, and by basing training on the analysis of the work to be done and then setting the standards it required, McDonald’s both drastically upgraded the yield from resources, and created a new market and a new customer. This is entrepreneurship.” 
― Peter F. DruckerInnovation and Entrepreneurship

“Entrepreneurs, by definition, shift resources from areas of low productivity and yield to areas of higher productivity and yield. Of” 
― Peter F. DruckerInnovation and Entrepreneurship

“If the executive lets the flow of events determine what he does, what he works on, and what he takes seriously, he will fritter himself away “operating.” He may be an excellent man. But he is certain to waste his knowledge and ability and to throw away what little effectiveness he might have achieved. What the executive needs are criteria which enable him to work on the truly important, that is, on contributions and results, even though the criteria are not found in the flow of events.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“The work relationship has to be based on mutual respect. Psychological despotism is basically contemptuous—far more contemptuous than the traditional Theory X. It does not assume that people are lazy and resist work, but it assumes that the manager is healthy while everybody else is sick. It assumes that the manager is strong while everybody else is weak. It assumes that the manager knows while everybody else is ignorant. It assumes that the manager is right, whereas everybody else is stupid. These are the assumptions of foolish arrogance.” 
― Peter F. DruckerManagement: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices

“People in general, and knowledge workers in particular, grow according to the demands they make on themselves. They grow according to what they consider to be achievement and attainment. If they demand little of themselves, they will remain stunted. If they demand a good deal of themselves, they will grow to giant stature—without any more effort than is expended by the nonachievers.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“An employer has no business with a man's personality. Employment is a specific contract calling for a specific performance, and nothing else. Any attempt by an employer to go beyond this is usurpation. It is an immoral as well as illegal intrusion of privacy.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

“I consider myself a “social ecologist,” concerned with man’s man-made environment the way the natural ecologist studies the biological environment.....the discipline itself boasts an old and distinguished lineage. Its greatest document is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. But no one is as close to me in temperament, concepts, and approach as the mid-Victorian Englishman Walter Bagehot. Living (as I have) in an age of great social change, Bagehot first saw the emergence of new institutions: civil service and cabinet government, as cores of a functioning democracy, and banking as the center of a functioning economy. A hundred years after Bagehot, I was first to identify management as the new social institution of the emerging society of organizations and, a little later, to spot the emergence of knowledge as the new central resource, and knowledge workers as the new ruling class of a society that is not only “postindustrial” but postsocialist and, increasingly, post-capitalist. As it had been for Bagehot, for me too the tension between the need for continuity and the need for innovation and change was central to society and civilization.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done

“mishear.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“communications” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“Meetings are by definition a concession to deficient organization For one either meets or one works. One cannot do both at the same time.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“a decision without an alternative is a desperate gambler’s throw,” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

 “Entrepreneurship, then, is behavior rather than personality trait. And its foundation lies in concept and theory rather than in intuition.” 
― Peter F. DruckerInnovation and Entrepreneurship

“A decision is a judgment. It is a choice between alternatives. It is rarely a choice between right and wrong. It is at best a choice between “almost right” and “probably wrong”—but much more often a choice between two courses of action neither of which is provably more nearly right than the other.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

 “They are, therefore, not overly impressed by speed in decision-making. Rather they consider virtuosity in manipulating a great many variables a symptom of sloppy thinking. They want to know what the decision is all about and what the underlying realities are which it has to satisfy. They want impact rather than technique, they want to be sound rather than clever.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“The knowledge worker is not poverty-prone. He is in danger of alienation, to use the fashionable word for boredom, frustration, and silent despair.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“Gentlemen, I take it we are all in complete agreement on the decision here.” Everyone around the table nodded assent. “Then,” continued Mr. Sloan, “I propose we postpone further discussion of this matter until our next meeting to give ourselves time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain some understanding of what the decision is all about.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“The lesson of the Ford story is that managers and management are the specific need of the business enterprise, its specific organ, and its basic structure. We can say dogmatically that enterprise cannot do without managers. One cannot argue that management does the owner’s job by delegation. Management is needed not only because the job is too big for any one man to do himself, but because managing an enterprise is something essentially different from managing one’s own property.” 
― Peter F. DruckerManagement

“plan, organize, integrate, motivate, and measure.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“Even today few businessmen understand that research, to be productive, has to be the “disorganizer,” the creator of a different future and the enemy of today. In most industrial laboratories, “defensive research” aimed at perpetuating today, predominates.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“a knowledge worker, is responsible for actions and decisions which are meant to contribute to the performance capacity of his organization. It is meant for every one of the men I call “executives.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“As a rule, theory does not precede practice. Its role is to structure and codify already proven practice. Its role is to convert the isolated and “atypical” from exception to “rule” and “system,” and therefore into something that can be learned and taught and, above all, into something that can be generally applied.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Daily Drucker

“…control has to be by feedback from the work done. The work itself has to provide the information. If it has to be checked all the time, there is no control” 
― Peter F. DruckerManagement: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices

“this book itself is not a book on what people at the top do or should do. It is addressed to everyone who, as a knowledge worker, is responsible for actions and decisions which are meant to contribute to the performance capacity of his organization.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“Follow these five decision steps when hiring someone: Understand the job, consider three to five people, study candidates performance records to find their strengths, talk to the candidates’ colleagues about them, and once hired, explain the assignment to the new employee.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Daily Drucker

“In the Next Society’s corporation, top management will be the company. Everything else can be outsourced.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Daily Drucker

“If the executive lets the flow of events determine what he does, what he works on, and what he takes seriously, he will fritter himself away “operating.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“But there seems to be little correlation between a man’s effectiveness and his intelligence, his imagination or his knowledge.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“But innovation and change make inordinate time demands on the executive. All one can think and do in a short time is to think what one already knows and to do as one has always done.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“The subject of this book is managing oneself for effectiveness.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

“To do the most good requires saying no to pressures to stray, and the discipline to stop doing what does not fit.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization

“To make knowledge productive, we will have to learn to see both forest and tree. We will have to learn to connect.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

tags: knowledge

“It is hard to realize today that “government” during the American Civil War a hundred years ago meant the merest handful of people. Lincoln’s Secretary of War had fewer than fifty civilian subordinates, most of them not “executives” and policy-makers but telegraph clerks. The entire Washington establishment of the U.S. government in Theodore Roosevelt’s time, around 1900, could be comfortably housed in any one of the government buildings along the Mall today.” 
― Peter F. DruckerThe Effective Executive

 

This Series consists of 101 different short videos that are about 2 to 5 minutes each with a single Management Best Practice. It is designed for marketing our expertise and also can be used to send short pithy answers to problems to prospects and clients. Many will be distributed on YouTube and other platforms and the entire 101 will be sent out in our newsletter to subscribers who register at www.AirTightMgt.com on the contact page. 

This Series consists of 101 different short videos that are about 2 to 5 minutes each with a single Management Best Practice. It is designed for marketing our expertise and also can be used to send short pithy answers to problems to prospects and clients. Many will be distributed on YouTube and other platforms and the entire 101 will be sent out in our newsletter to subscribers who register at www.AirTightMgt.com on the contact page. 

This Series consists of 101 different short videos that are about 2 to 5 minutes each with a single Management Best Practice. It is designed for marketing our expertise and also can be used to send short pithy answers to problems to prospects and clients. Many will be distributed on YouTube and other platforms and the entire 101 will be sent out in our newsletter to subscribers who register at www.AirTightMgt.com on the contact page. 

This Series consists of 101 different short videos that are about 2 to 5 minutes each with a single Management Best Practice. It is designed for marketing our expertise and also can be used to send short pithy answers to problems to prospects and clients. Many will be distributed on YouTube and other platforms and the entire 101 will be sent out in our newsletter to subscribers who register at www.AirTightMgt.com on the contact page. 

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