Friday, November 11, 2005

Peter Drucker 1909-2005

Peter Drucker 1909-2005

How do you describe a dear friend whom you have never met? Further, how do you explain the pit in the stomach when that dear friend dies?

Which is what I feel this evening upon just learning of Peter Drucker's death earlier today (
news report, official announcement ). Sad. Yet profoundly grateful.

As I've told many people, I learned more about management from Peter Drucker than any other human. A supervisor gave me "The Effective Executive" early in my career, in 1979. Drucker's writing resonated with me in an amazing way. I've read most of his books since. I have a copy of "The Daily Drucker" sitting on my desk, from which I start each work day with insight from this great thinker.

And now he is gone.

Drucker's unique combination of clarity and consistency of thought drove his passionate pursuit of excellence that put people first. His was a constant theme that good management was key to the social order in that it enabled people to advance and grow and contribute. While firmly grounded, he was keenly aware of the changing of the world's economy and contiued to be relevant, even to his last months.

About four years ago, I was invited to address a group of general contractors in the the commercial building industry on applications of Lean principles to their world. Following the session, a participant pulled me aside and said "You know, you sound just like Peter Drucker. Have you ever read his material?" I had not metioned Drucker at all, yet his complete influence on my thought came through. This remains my most cherished compliment I've received in business.

Much more can be said. For now, we can simply be grateful for this great man and that his writings are with us.

Thank you, Peter. May you rest in peace, my friend, my mentor.

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