Krug: Wisdoms of Peter Drucker still relevant today
Krug: Wisdoms of Peter Drucker still relevant today

The late-great Peter Drucker was a virtually endless font of keen insight into leadership and, perhaps, equally phenomenal at zeroing in on the embodiment of professional acumen.

The Austrian-born business consultant saw clarity where others saw fog. Dive into any of the more than three-dozen boo.....

The late-great Peter Drucker was a virtually endless font of keen insight into leadership and, perhaps, equally phenomenal at zeroing in on the embodiment of professional acumen.

The Austrian-born business consultant saw clarity where others saw fog. Dive into any of the more than three-dozen books he authored – or any of his other writings, for that matter – and he’ll help you isolate a challenge that he may have identified in 1939 and then, with your hard work and expertise, point to a resolution.

Drucker passed away in 2005, but his insight remains as relevant and vital today as it seemed revolutionary as he wove it over more than 60 years of writing.

Sneak a peek at the workspace of CEOs across the world, and you’ll probably see his quotations framed or otherwise immortalized as a constant reminder.

Some of my favorites:

On the difference between leaders and managers: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” 

On the power of communication: “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.” 

On the value of creating and then navigating a plan: “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”

If your world is all about helping others to see what you see and to turn your vision into action, Drucker is your guy. Measuring up to his expectations is incredibly difficult, but that’s the inherent challenge of entrepreneurial behavior. You love the game so much, you don’t mind much that it’s emptying your cup each day – or that you’re never the master of it.

My favorite thought from Drucker goes something like this: “Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.” I think that’s because it speaks to the forward focus of business and the only ingredients that one might need to succeed.

Read enough Drucker and you’ll quickly come to terms that his view of marketing was very much attuned to the efforts that are endeavored to make sales easier and not the ooey-gooey gunk that some may try to pass off as marketing. Perhaps above clarity of decision, Drucker was the champion of purpose. I appreciate that, as well.

As for us, we have now wobbled into the third week of a wickedly frosty January that has followed one of the most disjointed holiday seasons in recent memory – one that included the perfect storm of the latest-possible Thanksgiving, the earliest possible Hanukkah and a Christmas Day and New Year’s Day that split the last two work weeks of the year down the middle.

As I speak to my friends in the game, some whose cups have been emptied and not completely refilled, I think that we all may need a wee alignment as we get 2014 in order.

Drucker is a genius lived in his nimbleness. He could convert the complex into simplicity. He had the ability to – from arm’s length – see what we often can’t when we push our noses closer to our computer screens.

If I may borrow one more thought from Drucker, it would be with regard to outcomes – positive ones.

“Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems,” he said.

And as we all try to get untracked or on track – whichever you need to get going this year ­– we should remember that it always is easier to solve someone else’s problem than your own.

Drucker never directly said that. But in my attempt to do his wisdom justice through the practical application of intuition, I believe that to be true and perhaps even Drucker-inspired.

We don’t, as he noted, need to fix what’s broken. If we are innovative and forward thinking, the past takes care of itself. One cannot fix the past. Ever.

We grow our businesses with what we can do for our clients the next time rather than concern ourselves with what we didn’t do right the first time.

Or the second time.

Or, if they are truly forgiving, all of the other times over.

Onward.

• • •


As always, stay classy.

Chris Krug is president of the progressive media communications firm No Limit Agency in Chicago. No Limit is a full-service agency whose practice focuses on strategy, brand management, creative campaigns and delivering unparalleled placement in the media. No Limit Agency works with some of the best-known brands in North America, and that’s not a coincidence. Contact Krug by calling 312-526-3996 or via email at [email protected].

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