Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

The Wisdom of Peter Drucker

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

The Wisdom of Peter Drucker

Article excerpt

Peter Drucker, the eminent business consultant and a professor of social science and management at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, offers this sage advice for managers.

* Focus your energy. It's harder to move from incompetence to low-level mediocrity than to move from good performance to excellence.

Drucker offers this insight as part of a strategy to make managers more effective--and efficient--business leaders. He encourages them to concentrate their efforts in areas in which they are strong instead of wasting time trying to improve themselves in areas where they have little competence. It's better, he adds, to delegate to others those tasks in which you have less ability. In the long run, it saves time, money--and lots of personal aggravation.

There are unexpected benefits when you adopt Drucker's way of thinking. As you recognize your weaknesses, you will quite naturally compensate for them by leaning on others to take up those critical tasks. As such, you will learn how much you need others and you also will discover how much you appreciate their skills and abilities. And, even more important, you will begin to exercise more conscious efforts in nurturing those strengths in others, and that will help you build rich, evolving and satisfying relationships with those colleagues.

Taken together, those acquired skills will make you a better manager.

* Track your decisions. Every time you make an important decision or take some major action, keep a record of what you thought would happen because of that choice. Then, a year or so later, go back and compare the actual results with your year-ago expectations.

You may discover, for example, that no matter how hard you tried, you could not accomplish your goal. Or you may find you failed to follow through on certain aspects of the exercise or that you didn't link up with colleagues in your organization who may have had the time, skills or interest to tip the effort toward success. …

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