Peter Ferdinand Drucker (1909 – 2005) was an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation. He was also a leader in the development of management education and he created the concept of management by objectives. He has been described as “the founder of modern management”.

Most popular books by Peter Drucker

Drucker’s books and scholarly and popular articles explored how humans are organized across the business, government, and nonprofit sectors of society. He is one of the best-known and most widely influential thinkers and writers on the subject of management theory and practice.

Peter Drucker apparently wrote 39 books, probably more than anybody would want to read. I list below three of his best sellers that are worth reading, at least to start.

The Effective Executive

Managing Oneself

Essential Drucker

Top 48 Best Quotes From Peter Drucker

Reading quotes is not a good substitute for reading the books, but they are a concentrate of wisdom and quick to read.

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

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” –Peter Drucker

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

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

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

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

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

“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 Drucker

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

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

“What’s measured improves” –Peter Drucker

“Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.” –Peter Drucker “Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.” –Peter Drucker

“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 Drucker

“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 Drucker

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

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

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

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

“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 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 Drucker

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

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

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

“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. ” –Peter Drucker

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

“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 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 Drucker

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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 Drucker

“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 Drucker

“Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge are essential resources, but only effectiveness converts them into results.” –Peter Drucker

“Entrepreneurship is “risky” mainly because so few of the so-called entrepreneurs know what they are doing.” –Peter Drucker

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the 
product or service fits him and sells itself.” 
“Like so many brilliant people, he believes that ideas move mountains. But bulldozers move mountains; ideas show where the bulldozers should go to work.” –Peter Drucker

“Effectiveness must be learned.” –Peter Drucker

“Effective executives know that their subordinates are paid to perform and not to please their superiors.” 

“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.” 

“The computer is a moron. ”–Peter Drucker 

“A man should never be appointed to a managerial position if his vision focuses on people’s weaknesses rather than on their strengths. The man who always knows exactly what people cannot do, but never sees anything they can do, will undermine the spirit of his organization.”

“Working on the right things is what makes knowledge work effective.” –Peter Drucker

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” –Peter 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 Drucker


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