Peter Drucker – Iconic Business Thinker And Author

At Plutus Consulting, we like to stay current on the latest business management theories and best practices. We recommend reading as a good leadership practice, and on our web site Our Inspiration, we have suggestions on “good reads”.

Sometimes it’s useful to look back at older literature, as you can find some really useful advice that has stood the test of time. Here are some of the sayings of Peter Drucker, author of over 3 dozen books, and recognized guru in the art and science of business management. All are attributed to him.

On leadership

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

Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information.

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.

Most discussions of decision making assume that only senior executives make decisions or that only senior executives’ decisions matter. This is a dangerous mistake.

Efficiency is doing better what is already being done. Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.

Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs.

On Innovation and Improvement

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

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.

Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.


The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.

It encompasses the entire business. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is from the customer’s point of view. Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise. “

I really enjoy re-reading his books from time to time. The world is changing so fast sometimes we get gathered up in a momentum to do things differently without stopping to think. Drucker’s’ genius was grounded in everlasting common sense and acute insights into smart business practices.

John Holland
July 2017

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