Peter Drucker, “the father of modern management,” turned management theory into a serious discipline. In a legendary career that spanned almost 70 years, he revolutionized modern business practices, influencing such far-reaching developments as decentralization, privatization and empowerment.
Drucker was among the first to address the emergence of the information society and, in 1959, coined the now-defining term “knowledge worker.” His plain-spoken style and his use of simple language to express complex business strategies resonate with managers of business and social institutions the world over. As a result, his influence is felt every day in untold numbers of business and policy decisions around the globe.
Here are the 10 success lessons from Peter Drucker – “Father of Modern Management” for entrepreneurs,
1. Practicing self-development
Self-development is a major theme throughout Drucker’s writings and teachings. “What matters,” he wrote, “is that the knowledge worker, by the time he or she reaches middle age, has developed and nourished a human being rather than a tax accountant or a hydraulic engineer.”
Think about your life, both as it is now and where you’d like it to go. Consider not just your work, but also your life outside of work. Assess what’s working, what’s not and what you might want to add or subtract.
2. Care for your employees
Take care of the people that work for you because, at the end of the day, every business is ultimately in the “people business,” no matter what business you are in.
3. Creating a parallel or second career
Drucker advocated creating a parallel career in areas such as teaching, writing or working in nonprofit organizations. He also encouraged developing a second career, often by doing similar work in a different setting. For instance, a lawyer might move from a traditional law firm to a legal nonprofit dedicated to a personally meaningful cause.
While still in your main job, start thinking about possibilities for a parallel or second career. Consider how these possibilities match your values, experience and education, and what shifts you might need to make in your life to support such changes.
4. Be involved with your team
Select the best talent when building your team. Talented people are the essential ingredient in every successful enterprise. Be hands-on in hiring and selecting new team members.
5. Identifying and developing your unique strengths
The concept of core competencies may have been created for organizations, but it applies to individuals as well. Drucker noted that, in his experience, few people could articulate their areas of strength.
Consider what’s unique about what you do, and in what areas you excel and contribute the most, both at work and outside of work. Focus on those strengths—your own core competencies—and find new ways to cultivate and cherish them.
6. Exercising your generosity
An essential part of living in more than one world, Drucker believed, is displaying a sense of generosity. Sharing your time and talents in areas such as volunteerism, social entrepreneurship and mentoring provides opportunities to contribute. It also offers personal benefits—from broadening your circle of friends and colleagues to deepening your life experience.
Think about what happens outside of your workplace; then consider ways you can exercise your own generosity.
7. Develop disagreement rather than consensus
Don’t make a decision unless there’s disagreement. Disagreement provides alternatives, stimulates the imagination, and helps you break out of preconceived notions. Understand the alternatives. Know why people disagree. Know both sides of the issues.
8. Know where your time goes
To manage your time, you need to know where it goes. The only way to know where you spend your time is to log it. Your memory tells you that you spend time where you think you should spend your time, but it’s wrong.
9. Teaching and learning
Education plays a key role in Drucker’s vision of a strong, functioning society. He believed that knowledge workers must start learning during their formal schooling and continue throughout their lives. It’s up to them, he added, to incorporate continuous learning as a natural part of their daily life.
Consider your own priorities for learning, as well as how you learn best. You might also want to teach. As Drucker noted, “No one learns as much as the person who must teach his subject.”
“The best way to predict the future is to create it,” Drucker advised. So, take a deep breath, start where you are and move toward your total life one step at a time.
10. Planned abandonment
Plan an ending. Determine how long the commitment will be for, and create some boundaries around it. If you won’t have enough time to finish it, don’t take it on. Build in a review mechanism so you can determine whether to continue or change course or stop. When you stop something, you make room for something else.