Peter Drucker, the father of modern management was one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century and, also, the most influential in history in the field of business. Therefore, the legacy of Peter Drucker (Vienna, 1909-2005) is virtually unattainable, being plagued with ideas, concepts and phrases that no one had dared to formulate before. Within this enormous intellectual flow, we can identify 10 great lessons from an interview with the CEO of our time.
Drucker pioneered the need to decentralize decision making in companies. In his opinion, this issue is essential for the growth and strengthening of companies, because it is easier for small groups to be aware of their importance and their contribution to the overall objectives of an organization. In his opinion, "the best structure will not guarantee results or performance, but the wrong structure is a guarantee of failure."
There is no single company in the world that is currently not managed based on objectives. Well, it was Drucker who coined this idea, considering it the cornerstone of any strategy (in fact, he was also a pioneer in talking about business strategy). So that any manager could assess whether his objectives were being achieved, he created a guide that evaluated performances, diagnosed failures and increased productivity, both for managers and their teams.
The efficient CEO is one who knows how to control his time, direct his efforts towards previously established results, build with all his strength, prioritize his work in a few areas and make effective decisions.
This is one of his most revolutionary ideas of Drucker, as he advocates leaving part of the management of companies in the hands of their own employees and work teams. Specifically, Drucker considered that workers should assume responsibilities of business management in areas such as work structuring, distribution of the most important tasks and everyday issues of the community, such as vacations, shifts or jobs. Benefits.
Nowadays it seems a truism, but this idea marked before and after when it was pronounced by Drucker: in the moments of difficulty, the most important thing is not the problems, but the opportunities. It is in them where companies should focus because they are what allow organizations to grow and develop. "Where there is a successful company, someone once made a brave decision," he used to repeat.
Drucker defined himself as a "social environmentalist" for being concerned and committed to the environment of people. Among other things, he considered that the employees were an investment for the companies and not a cost or a simple machine, something that today seems accepted but that generated a great stir in an intellectual context dominated by mechanistic theories.
The Viennese thinker predicted the knowledge society several decades before his birth. The protagonist of this new society would be the "knowledge worker", characterized by its innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. This professional would transform the world and the economy, whose main resource thereafter would no longer be capital, but knowledge.
Drucker considered that the business leader had to be efficient and that efficiency was not something innate, but a capacity that can be learned based on internalizing a series of habits. Specifically, the efficient CEO is one who knows how to control his time, direct his efforts towards previously established results, build with all his strengths and those around him, prioritize his work in a few areas and make effective decisions.
The phrase that "the customer is always right" sounds good, but it needs to be provided with content. That's what Drucker did when he felt that consumers are smarter than companies and don't need to be told what they have to do. If anything, the work of the organizations must consist of guiding and accompanying the clients, so that they do not find any difficulty in doing what they want to do.
This is another very topical idea that, in a way, has its origin in Drucker's philosophy. After all, he was a pioneer in considering that companies are a human, social and political organization. And he also anticipated that these organizations would end up becoming the integrating principle of society. This has already happened (or is very close to happening) in the current era of globalization.
Due to the historical context that he had to live (he was forced to escape from Nazism), Drucker dedicated a good part of his life to analyzing the idea of leadership and, above all, to differentiate a true leader from a simple dictator. In his opinion, leadership must be irremediably subject to responsibility and accountability (otherwise it is tyranny). Therefore, he considered that "there can only be authority if there is responsibility." He also said, “Management is doing things right, but leadership is doing the right things”.