Quotes Archive

What is measured improves.

- Peter Drucker

When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course.

- Peter Drucker

Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.

- Peter Drucker

Work is a process, and any process needs to be controlled. To make work productive, therefore, requires building the appropriate controls into the process of work.

- Peter Drucker

Working on the right things is what makes knowledge work effective.

- Peter Drucker

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

- 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

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

- Peter Drucker

We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.

- Peter Drucker

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

- Peter Drucker

What gets measured gets managed.

- Peter Drucker

There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.

- Peter Drucker

There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.

- Peter Drucker

There is tremendous stress these days on liking people, helping people, getting along with people, as qualifications for a manager. These alone are never enough. In every successful organization there is one boss who does not like people, who does not help them, and who does not get along with them. Cold, unpleasant, demanding, he often teaches and develops more men than anyone else. He commands more respect than the most likable man ever could. He demands exacting workmanship of himself as well as of his men. He sets high standards and expects that they will be lived up to. He considers only what is right and never who is right. And though often himself a man of brilliance, he never rates intellectual brilliance above integrity in others. The manager who lacks these qualities of character—no matter how likable, helpful, or amiable, no matter even how competent or brilliant—is a menace and should be adjudged “unfit to be a manager and a gentleman.

- Peter Drucker

They are, therefore, not overly impressed by speed in decision-making. Rather they consider virtuosity in manipulating a great many variables a symptom of sloppy thinking. They want to know what the decision is all about and what the underlying realities are which it has to satisfy. They want impact rather than technique, they want to be sound rather than clever.

- Peter Drucker

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

- Peter Drucker

Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.

- Peter Drucker

To be sure, the fundamental task of management remains the same: to make people capable of joint performance through common goals, common values, the right structure, and the training and development they need to perform and to respond to change.

- Peter Drucker

To do the most good requires saying no to pressures to stray, and the discipline to stop doing what does not fit.

- Peter Drucker

To make knowledge productive, we will have to learn to see both forest and tree. We will have to learn to connect.

- Peter Drucker

Today knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement.

- 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

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.

- 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

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

The work relationship has to be based on mutual respect. Psychological despotism is basically contemptuous—far more contemptuous than the traditional Theory X. It does not assume that people are lazy and resist work, but it assumes that the manager is healthy while everybody else is sick. It assumes that the manager is strong while everybody else is weak. It assumes that the manager knows while everybody else is ignorant. It assumes that the manager is right, whereas everybody else is stupid. These are the assumptions of foolish arrogance.

- Peter Drucker

We can say with certainty – or 90% probability – that the new industries that are about to be born will have nothing to do with information.

- Peter Drucker

The knowledge that we consider knowledge proves itself in action. What we now mean by knowledge is information in action, information focused on results.

- Peter Drucker

The knowledge worker is not poverty-prone. He is in danger of alienation, to use the fashionable word for boredom, frustration, and silent despair.

- 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 lesson of the Ford story is that managers and management are the specific need of the business enterprise, its specific organ, and its basic structure. We can say dogmatically that enterprise cannot do without managers. One cannot argue that management does the owner’s job by delegation. Management is needed not only because the job is too big for any one man to do himself, but because managing an enterprise is something essentially different from managing one’s own property.

- Peter Drucker

The most efficient way to produce anything is to bring together under one management as many as possible of the activities needed to turn out the product.

- Peter Drucker

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.

- Peter Drucker

The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The true dangerous thing is asking the wrong questionl

- Peter Drucker

The new information technology… Internet and e-mail… have practically eliminated the physical costs of communications.

- Peter Drucker

The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.

- Peter Drucker

The people who work within these industries or public services know that there are basic flaws. But they are almost forced to ignore them and to concentrate instead on patching here, improving there, fighting the fire or caulking that crack. They are thus unable to take the innovation seriously, let alone to try to compete with it. They do not, as a rule, even notice it until it has grown so big as to encroach on their industry or service, by which time it has become irreversible. In the meantime, the innovators have the field to themselves.

- Peter Drucker

The Effective Executive itself is not a book on what people at the top do or should do. It is addressed to everyone who, as a knowledge worker, is responsible for actions and decisions which are meant to contribute to the performance capacity of his organization

- 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

The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.

- Peter Drucker

The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.

- Peter Drucker

The experience of the human race indicates strongly that the only person in abundant supply is the universal incompetent.

- Peter Drucker

The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.

- Peter Drucker

The focus on contribution by itself supplies the four basic requirements of effective human relations: communications, teamwork, self-development, and development of others.

- Peter Drucker

The subject of this book is managing oneself for effectiveness.

- Peter Drucker

The human being is a very poorly designed machine tool. The human being excels in coordination. He excels in relating perception to action. He works best if the entire human being, muscles, senses, and mind, is engaged in the work.

- Peter Drucker

The husband and wife who open another delicatessen store or another Mexican restaurant in the American suburb surely take a risk. But are they entrepreneurs? All they do is what has been done many times before. They gamble on the increasing popularity of eating out in their area, but create neither a new satisfaction nor new consumer demand. Seen under this perspective they are surely not entrepreneurs even though theirs is a new venture. McDonald’s, however, was entrepreneurship. It did not invent anything, to be sure. Its final product was what any decent American restaurant had produced years ago. But by applying management concepts and management techniques (asking, What is “value” to the customer?), standardizing the “product,” designing process and tools, and by basing training on the analysis of the work to be done and then setting the standards it required, McDonald’s both drastically upgraded the yield from resources, and created a new market and a new customer. This is entrepreneurship.

- Peter Drucker

Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves – their strengths, their values, and how they best perform.

- Peter Drucker

Suppliers and especially manufacturers have market power because they have information about a product or a service that the customer does not and cannot have, and does not need if he can trust the brand. This explains the profitability of brands.

- Peter Drucker

Teaching is the only major occupation of man for which we have not yet developed tools that make an average person capable of competence and performance. In teaching we rely on the ‘naturals’, the ones who somehow know how to teach.

- Peter Drucker

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