The Practical Drucker: Applying the Wisdom of the World's Greatest Management Thinker

The Practical Drucker: Applying the Wisdom of the World's Greatest Management Thinker

The Practical Drucker: Applying the Wisdom of the World's Greatest Management Thinker

The Practical Drucker: Applying the Wisdom of the World's Greatest Management Thinker


Few thinkers have had a greater impact on business than Peter Drucker, the inventor of modern management, whose legacy continues to influence leaders around the globe. His keen observations about organizations took the form of deceptively simple truths and astute predictions. Concepts such as decentralization, outsourcing, the rise of the knowledge worker, the role of employees as assets, and a focus on the customer- it was Drucker who first expressed them, sometimes decades before they be came accepted wisdom.

Although renowned as a thinker and idea generator, the "what" in his teachings was far more prevalent than the "how." Now, The Practical Drucker mines his vast body of work to pinpoint 40 applicable truths for solving real-world problems. Readers will find surprising insights and clear guidance on how to:

• Engage employees and achieve outstanding performance

• Remedy destructive office politics

• Approach innovation

• Ensure follow-through on good ideas by establishing controls

• Handle a crisis

• Become better decision makers by questioning assumptions

• Determine which leadership style to use in which situation

• Do more with less

• Steer clear of the biggest traps that leaders fall into

• Avoid the five deadly marketing sins

• And much more

In succinct, satisfying chapters, the book distills the practical wisdom from Drucker's myriad books, essays, articles and his decades of teaching and consulting into a set of fresh, vital lessons that will resonate today and for years to come.


I must confess that my first reaction when I learned of the title of Bill Cohen’s new book, The Practical Drucker, was to think to myself: “Hmmm. Perhaps an official from the Department of Redundancy Department should be asked to write the foreword instead.”

In my mind, after all, Drucker and practicality are synonymous. Calling a book The Practical Drucker is like referring to someone as a “big giant” or a 100-story building as a “tall skyscraper.”

Indeed, Drucker was so practical that much of the scholarly community regarded him as a pariah. Although he taught at four institutions of higher learning over his long career—Sarah Lawrence College, Bennington College, New York University, and Claremont Graduate University—Drucker never fit the mold of many of his colleagues. Those around him often seemed most interested in racking up citations in peer-reviewed academic journals; Drucker, for his part, was focused on making a difference in the real world.

“Being incomprehensible has become a virtue in academia,” Drucker complained in the mid-1980s. By contrast, he added, “I have a deep horror of obscurity and arrogance”—a trait that constantly pushed him to present his work “in a form that people could apply.”

He hardly used footnotes. He eschewed regression analysis, charts, and graphs. As a consultant to major corporations and nonprofits, he stressed the need to put ideas into action. “Don’t tell me you had a wonderful meeting with me,” he’d say. “Tell me what you’re going to do on Monday that’s different.”

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