Peter F. Drucker was a writer, professor, management consultant and self-described “social ecologist,” who explored the way human beings organize themselves and interact much the wayan ecologist would observe and analyze the biological world.
Hailed by BusinessWeek as “the man who invented management,” Drucker directly influenced a huge number of leaders from a wide range oforganizations across all sectors of society. Among the many: General Electric, IBM, Intel, Procter & Gamble, Girl Scouts of the USA, the Salvation Army, Red Cross, the United Farm Workers and severalpresidential administrations.
Drucker’s 39 books, along with his countless scholarly and popular articles, predicted many of the major developments of the late 20th century, including privatizationand decentralization, the rise of Japan to economic world power, the decisive importance of marketing and innovation, and the emergence of the information society with its necessity of lifelonglearning. In the late 1950s, Drucker coined the term “knowledge worker,” and he spent the rest of his life examining an age in which an unprecedented number of people use their brains more than their backs.Throughout his work, Drucker called for a healthy balance—between short-term needs and long-term sustainability; between profitability and other obligations; between the specific mission ofindividual organizations and the common good; between freedom and responsibility.
Drucker’s first major work, The End of Economic Man, was published in 1939. After reading it, Winston Churchill describedDrucker as “one of those writers to whom almost anything can be forgiven because he not only has a mind of his own, but has the gift of starting other minds along a stimulating line of thought.”
Drivenby an insatiable curiosity about the world around him—and a deep desire to make that world a better place—Drucker continued to write long after most others would have put away their pens. The result...