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A Class with Drucker: The Lost Lessons of the World’s Greatest Management Teacher

Book Description

Long considered the world’s greatest thinker and writer on management, Peter Drucker’s teachings continue to inspire leaders everywhere. From 1975 to 1979, author William Cohen studied under the Great Man and became the first graduate of his doctoral program. What Drucker taught him literally changed his life. In a matter of a few years, he was recommissioned in the Air Force and rose to the rank of major general. Eventually, he became a full professor, management consultant, multibook author, and university president – as well as maintaining a nearly lifelong friendship with the master.

In A Class with Drucker, Cohen shares many of Drucker’s teachings that never made it into his countless books and articles, ideas that were offered to his students in classroom or informal settings. Cohen expands on Drucker’s lessons with personal anecdotes about his teacher’s personality, lack of pretension, and interactions with students and others. He also shows how Drucker’s ideas can be applied to the real-world challenges managers face today. Now every reader can benefit from Drucker’s thoughts on such topics as:

* what everybody knows is frequently wrong * why everyone should approach problems with their ignorance * top executives should stay no longer than six years * some so-called menial tasks can only be done by the boss * what everyone needs to be an effective manager * why self-confidence is a necessity

Enlightening and intriguing, A Class with Drucker will enable anyone to gain from the timeless wisdom of the inspiring man himself.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments and Dedication
  3. Foreword
  4. Introduction
  5. One. How I Became the Student of the Father of Modern Management
    1. How I First Heard About Peter Drucker
    2. My First Drucker Lesson was Not from the Classroom
    3. I Become Peter Drucker’s Student
    4. The Oral Lessons and Lost Wisdom
  6. Two. Drucker in the Classroom
    1. Drucker the Rebel
    2. Class Begins
    3. Drucker the Man
    4. Learning from Drucker
  7. Three. What Everybody Knows Is Frequently Wrong
    1. The Story of the Two Vice Presidents
    2. Drucker’s Lesson: Question Your Assumptions
    3. Things Once “Known to Be True” Are Now Known to Be False
    4. Questions Raised by 100 Percent Agreement
    5. The Tylenol Case
    6. Analyzing Assumptions
    7. Drucker Lesson Summary
  8. Four. Self-Confidence Must Be Built Step-by-Step
    1. How Peter Became a Management Consultant
    2. Where Did Drucker Get His Self-Confidence?
    3. Searching for the Source of Drucker’s Self-Confidence
    4. Self-Confidence Is Based on Past Success
    5. Four More Ways to Develop Self-Confidence
      1. Anyone can be an Uncrowned Performer
      2. Seek to Develop Your Expertise
      3. Develop Self-Confidence through Positive Mental Imagery
      4. Act Confident to Become Confident
    6. Drucker Lesson Summary
  9. Five. If You Keep Doing What Worked in the Past You’re Going to Fail
    1. Wisdom at the Dinner Table
    2. Drucker Explains His Lesson
    3. Examples Are Everywhere
    4. Environmental Changes
    5. Executives Have Trouble Changing
    6. Asking Questions the Drucker Way
    7. How to Recognize the Future
    8. Drucker Lesson Summary
  10. Six. Approach Problems with Your Ignorance—Not Your Experience
    1. A Chilly Afternoon in Drucker’s Class
    2. A Drucker Gem
    3. Liberty Ships Prove the Value of Ignorance
    4. What to Do; Not How to Do It
    5. Analyzing Drucker’s Lesson
    6. Using Ignorance for Problem Solving
    7. The Left-Brain Solution
    8. Problem Definition
    9. Relevant Factors
    10. Alternative Courses of Action
    11. Analysis, Conclusions, and Decision
    12. The Right-Brain Solution
    13. Inventing the Sewing Machine
    14. The Right Brain Leads to Silly Putty
    15. Drucker Lesson Summary
  11. Seven. Develop Expertise Outside Your Field to Be an Effective Manager
    1. Enter Peter Drucker
    2. Case Number 4
    3. The Secret Life of a Top Executive
    4. Master More than One Discipline
    5. Flash Ahead Twenty-Five Years
    6. Communicating with Other Disciplines
    7. Applying Drucker’s Wisdom
    8. Drucker’s Approach to Becoming a Strategic Leader
      1. Read Daily
      2. Start Writing
    9. Drucker Lesson Summary
  12. Eight. Outstanding Performance Is Inconsistent with Fear of Failure
    1. Drucker’s Wisdom on an Executive Performance
    2. I Am Forced to Resign My Job
    3. Why Wasn’t I Afraid?
    4. My First Book
    5. Rising above Job Loss—Twice
    6. Picking Up Where Peter Drucker Left Off
      1. Open a Special Folder
      2. The Importance of a Current Resume
      3. Sales Letters are Better than Resumes
      4. Becoming Known in Your Industry
      5. Play the Game: “What Will I Do If I Lose My Job Tomorrow?”
      6. Work Out a Rough Job Plan Which You can Immediately Implement
    7. Drucker Lesson Summary
  13. Nine. The Objective of Marketing Is to Make Selling Unnecessary
    1. Drucker’s Lecture on Marketing
    2. The Development of Marketing According to Drucker
    3. Marketing Is the Basis of Any Business
    4. My Research into Marketing
    5. Drucker Thought Marketing and Selling Were Adversarial
    6. Drucker’s Principle Holds
    7. Another Look at Ford’s Early Success
    8. Drucker Lesson Summary
  14. Ten. Ethics, Honor, Integrity, and the Law
    1. A Japanese Executive Is Shocked at U.S. Laws
    2. When in Rome . . .
    3. Drucker Looks at Bribery
    4. The Law Versus Ethics
    5. The Legal Dilemma
    6. Business Ethics and Honor
    7. The West Point Honor System
    8. Honor Versus a Violation of Regulation
    9. Drucker’s Reaction to the Honor Code
    10. The Ethics of Business Research
    11. Drucker’s First Test of Ethics
    12. Drucker Lesson Summary
  15. Eleven. You Can’t Predict the Future, But You Can Create It
    1. I Walk Out of Peter’s Class
    2. You Can Create Your Own Future
    3. Applying Peter’s Lesson to My Own Problem
    4. The “Impossible” Story of a Bodybuilder (Not Arnold)
    5. The Process of Creating Your Future
    6. My Corollary to Drucker’s Process
    7. Current Situation Analysis
      1. Situational Environs
      2. Neutral Environs
      3. Competitor Environs
      4. Company Environs
    8. Picking Target Markets
    9. What Next?
    10. Drucker Lesson Summary
  16. Twelve. We’re All Accountable
    1. Drucker on Responsibility and Accountability
    2. The Kind of Executive Drucker Meant
    3. The Responsibilities of the Leader
    4. Union Accountability
    5. The Kind of Thing You’d Like to See
    6. The Right Attitude
    7. Joint Responsibility
    8. How Miscommunication Got an Engineer Unfairly Fired
    9. Drucker Recommends Writing a Charter
    10. Drucker Lesson Summary
  17. Thirteen. You Must Know Your People to Lead Them
    1. Drucker Really Knew Those He Led
    2. A General Does Even Better
    3. A College Dean Goes Even One Better
    4. Timeless Advice
    5. Get Out and Talk with Those You Would Lead
    6. Another Advantage to Knowing Your People
    7. Other Means of Getting to Know Your People
      1. Internal Social Activities
      2. Internal Job-Related Activities
      3. Internal Societal-Benefit Activities
      4. External Professional Activities
      5. External Societal-Benefit Activities
    8. Drucker Lesson Summary
  18. Fourteen. People Have No Limits, Even After Failure
    1. The Peter Principle
    2. Do People Really Rise to Their Levels of Incompetence?
    3. The Dangers of the Peter Principle
    4. The Peter Principle Disproved
    5. Drucker’s Three Key Rules on Staffing
    6. (1) Think Through the Job Requirements
    7. I Disputed Drucker on This Rule
    8. Back to the Basics
    9. (2) Choose Multiple Candidates for a Job Before Selection
    10. A Cautionary Tale
    11. (3) Discuss Your Choice with Colleagues First
    12. After the Promotion
    13. Drucker’s Six-Year Principle
    14. Drucker Lesson Summary
  19. Fifteen. A Model Organization That Drucker Greatly Admired
    1. Who Was Xenophon?
    2. Drucker’s Interest in the Military
    3. Three Areas of Military Management Drucker Recommended
    4. Military Training
      1. Case in Point: My Military Training
      2. The Harder You Train, The Better You’ll Perform
    5. Promotion Systems
      1. Evaluation Reports
      2. Getting Promoted
      3. The Promotion Board
    6. Drucker on Leadership
    7. The Eight Universal Laws of Leadership
    8. Drucker Lesson Summary
  20. Sixteen. The Management Control Panel
    1. Using Technology to Its Fullest
    2. Drucker’s Challenge
    3. Harvard Business School’s Three Inputs
    4. Drucker’s Second Question
    5. The Classroom Discussion
    6. Drucker’s Analysis of the Management Control Panel
    7. Practical Proof of Drucker’s Insight
    8. Drucker Lesson Summary
  21. Seventeen. Base Your Strategy on the Situation, Not on a Formula
    1. Strategy is Strategy
    2. Don’t Develop Strategy by Formula
    3. The Search for Drucker’s Methodology
    4. How Peter Analyzed Things
    5. Strategic Solutions
    6. My Search for Drucker’s Strategic Principles
    7. My Ten Principles of Strategy
    8. Presenting His Strategy
    9. Drucker Lesson Summary
  22. Eighteen. How to Motivate the Knowledge Worker
    1. Theory Y Is Not the Answer
    2. Drucker’s Recommendations
    3. Secrets of Motivation
    4. Treat Your People Individually
    5. What Do You Think Motivates Workers?
    6. Does This Organization Exist?
    7. Work Needs to Be Interesting
    8. Treating People with Respect Gains Respect
    9. Recognition for Good Work Is Desired and Deserved
    10. Workers Should Be Able to Develop Their Skills
    11. Listening Is a Sure Motivator
    12. Let Workers Think for Themselves
    13. What about Salary, Job Security, and Benefits?
    14. Motivations Are Interrelated and Connected
    15. Different Motivators Accomplish Different Things
    16. Can You Give Workers What They Really Want?
    17. Drucker Lesson Summary
  23. Nineteen. Drucker’s Principles of Self-Development
    1. The Lesson of An Australian General
    2. Self-Development Is Up to the Individual
    3. Drucker’s Basic Premise
    4. The Basic Question for Managers
    5. Drucker’s Four Vehicles of Self-Development
    6. Further Principles of Self-Development
    7. Preparation and Risk
    8. Be True to Your Commitments
    9. More Preparation on Drucker’s Part
    10. When Change Occurs, Take Immediate Action
    11. Be Flexible
    12. Fixed Goals; Flexible Strategy
    13. Drucker Lesson Summary
  24. Afterword
  25. Notes
    1. Chapter 2
    2. Chapter 3
    3. Chapter 4
    4. Chapter 5
    5. Chapter 6
    6. Chapter 8
    7. Chapter 9
    8. Chapter 10
    9. Chapter 12
    10. Chapter 13
    11. Chapter 18
    12. Chapter 19
  26. Appendix
    1. Books by Peter Drucker
    2. Books About Peter Drucker