Monday, November 14, 2005

He Was the Man from whom to Learn
How Business Worked

For those who may have missed it in the news, Peter Drucker died this past Friday at the age of 95. Some 20 years ago, a young college graduate we had hired asked me what he could do to get ahead faster. I gave him five books by Drucker and told him to study them as if his life depended upon it.

I’d still give that advice. Drucker made everything simple and that’s not easy to do. He understood how complexity ground businesses down when managers stepped out of their area of expertise and created too many products, made by too many people and tried to be all things to all people.

The young graduate returned the books unread. "I just spent four years reading books and I don't want to do it anymore." He never made it at our agency, and I'd be willing to bet he never made it anywhere.

Peter Drucker's passing reminds me that I have not re-read his books in a long time. I think I will get out The Age of Discontinuity tonight.

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