Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Lives On

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I think Peter Drucker is to leadership and managing what Warren Buffet is to investing. Here’s a terrific book review from Investor’s Daily (Thank you, Tom Loarie) that highlights some of his tips. Most important for the job seeker – skip over the ruts and keep moving!

Skip Ruts; Keep Moving

By Cord Cooper
Posted 10/30/2009 05:43 PM ET

To get to the top in business, learn from the best, says researcher Bruce Rosenstein, author of “Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life.”

Among the lessons we can learn:
• Be a moving target. Drucker (1909-2005) never stopped learning. He became a top management thinker by amassing knowledge in a range of posts that spanned seven decades. Born in Vienna, he first worked as an apprentice in a German cotton-trading firm. He then honed his skills as a journalist. He earned a doctorate in international and public law from the University of Frankfurt and dived into business after studying top economists.

Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter taught him the keys of entrepreneurship and innovation.

They became the focus of Drucker’s life. He predicted the shift in firms to decentralization and coined the term “knowledge worker” — one who works with or processes information — years before the Internet technology era.

• Be portable. He launched what he called parallel careers, says Rosenstein. Drucker penned best-selling books, packed lecture halls and pioneered the field of executive coaching. Among his students: Jack Welch, Andy Grove and A.G. Lafley.

Drucker encouraged everyone to grow into new — or related — posts.

• Do the same. Consider new paths where you’re now employed, says Lawler Kang, author of “Passion at Work.”

When opportunities hit, “be upfront with your boss,” Kang said. Try this: “I love working for you, but for X, Y and Z reasons, my performance will be stronger if I take this chance elsewhere in the firm.”

Kang added: “The boss might think it’s better to keep you (in the firm) by giving you what you want than losing you to a rival.”

The boss might also say no — you’re needed where you are. One option: Ask for tasks that could help you transition to another firm. Get additional training via online courses or night and weekend classes.

Result: When a job comes up that aligns with your interests, you’ll be ready.

• Shift. Depending on your circumstance, you might try a second career. Leaders from George Washington to Winston Churchill to Ronald Reagan launched stunning second acts that changed the world.

How could a second career change your world?

• Scope it out. If entering a new industry, “consult with colleagues in the field about the type of training needed, the quickest way to get it, and possible leads,” Kang said.

Also, nurture relationships with others in your network.

“Don’t let key people fall off your radar,” Kang said.

• Use what you have. Determine which of your skills could be adapted to the new field, says strategy coach Stephen Pollan, author of “Second Acts.”

• Pass something on. As Drucker did, “think about what you’d like your legacy to be,” Rosenstein said. “Consider the legacy of people you’ve admired.”

What were their strengths? How did they leap the hurdles? What made them unique? Use that information to grow.


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