by Anis Salvesen
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
The man who said this would have been 100 years old this 19th of November. His name? Peter Drucker, “the father of modern management.”
A year before he passed away, Mr. Drucker gave a great interview to Forbes titled “Peter Drucker on Leadership.” I will not attempt to summarize it, but I would like to share one of the points he made. It’s actually a bit disturbing. Here is what he said: “One of the ablest men I’ve worked with, and this is a long time back, was Germany’s last pre-World War II democratic chancellor, Dr. Heinrich Bruning. He had an incredible ability to see the heart of a problem. But he was very weak on financial matters. He should have delegated but he wasted endless hours on budgets and performed poorly. This was a terrible failing during a Depression and it led to Hitler.”
That seems harsh to me, but what Drucker said afterward made a lot of sense. “Never try to be an expert if you are not. Build on your strengths and find strong people to do the other necessary tasks.” Previously in the interview, Drucker had stated that leaders “are not afraid of strength in others. Andrew Carnegie wanted to put on his gravestone, ‘Here lies a man who knew how to put into his service more able men than he was himself.’”
What a keen mind. No wonder the likes of the following people will be taking part in the Drucker Centennial Week, commemorating what would have been Peter Drucker’s 100th birthday this November 2-8th: influential writer and professor Warren Bennis, author and leadership expert Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager), author Jim Collins (Good to Great, How the Mighty Fall), author Stephen Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People), London Business School co-founder Charles Handy, and former Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Frances Hesselbein.
When I first heard about this event from our CEO, Pamela, I thought I wish that I too knew Frances Hesselbein so that I could be invited. But here is the coolest part – most of the events during Drucker Centennial Week are free, and all are open to the public. Just click here for registration details.
Thanks for reading this blog post and don’t forget to share your stories from Drucker 100 Week!