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The Leader You Should Know

The list of top 10 influences in my life would include Peter Ducker.

Your question:  Who is Peter Drucker? 

Let me explain why I am writing about Peter Drucker, who was a business guru and writer. 

I believe all of us are leaders. Go ahead, thump your chest and say, “I’m a leader!” Because you are. Maybe a great leader, perhaps a bad leader, but a leader nonetheless. As a leader, whether in a non-profit, a business, or in your home, learning to become a better leader will improve your life.

Peter Ducker is the father of all things good in leadership books and articles today. Harvard Business Review should rename itself to “Drucker Business Review” and Wharton Business School should be named “Peter’s Business School.”

I began reading Drucker years ago. 

He left Germany before World War II when his writings were banned and eventually become a US citizen. His books and thoughts gave us the concept and terms of “decentralized business” and “knowledge worker.”

I read all things Drucker because he was the first to focus on business as “human” or “relational” and not as corporate and impersonal.

Drucker’s book The Effective Executive had a thought that spoke to the core of my 49 years as a pastor – “… the major fault of a pastor is the inability to discern and adapt to the changing landscape of life” (my remembrance).

I can’t think of better leadership advice, especially after 2020!

One of my favorite Drucker books wasn’t written by Peter Drucker but by Bob Buford (who wrote the book Halftime: Moving From Success to Significance). The book titled Drucker & Me summarized Buford’s 20 years of conversations, mentoring by, and friendship with Peter Drucker.

Buford writes:  

Peter’s greatest teaching came not in giving answers, but by pushing and challenging with the right questions.

How many times had I heard him say, “Begin with the end in sight?”

If you must have a special meeting to plan your legacy, you don’t have one.

Bob Buford relates a conversation with Peter Drucker after Buford had lost his only son in a tragic accident. Peter asked, “Isn’t it a shame that it takes this kind of moment for you and me to have the kind of conversation we just had?”

Wow. How many of our best conversations come during and after tragedy?

Toward the end of Drucker’s life, he became passionate about working with non-profit and church organizations. Buford cites Drucker telling him that the most effective organizations in the world are non-profits. 

Ever the prophet, Peter Drucker described churches as…

  • 15 percent are healthy
  • 40 percent are neurotic, having problems but not knowing it
  • 15 percent are declining with people leaving because their needs weren’t being met
  • The rest… demised… dead, with no healthy people and nothing to build on

I agree with Ducker’s assessment. I also know that the Lord will come back to a healthy church led by great leaders. 

Jesus, Paul, the Bible, and Peter Drucker – a great foundation for the end-times church.