Peter Drucker quotes

Peter Drucker

Peter Ferdinand Drucker was an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation. He was also a leader in the development of management education, he invented the concept known as management by objectives and self-control, and he has been described as “the founder of modern management”… (wikipedia)


The computer is a moron.

Today knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement.

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.

The purpose of a business is to create a customer.

People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.

Management by objective works – if you know the objectives. Ninety percent of the time you don’t.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.

Rank does not confer privilege or give power.
It imposes responsibility.

Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.

No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.

Efficiency is doing things right;
effectiveness is doing the right things.

The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.

The new information technology… Internet and e-mail… have practically eliminated the physical costs of communications.

Knowledge has to be
improved, challenged, and increased constantly,
or it vanishes.

Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.

We can say with certainty – or 90% probability – that the new industries that are about to be born will have nothing to do with information.

The most efficient way to produce anything is to bring together under one management as many as possible of the activities needed to turn out the product.

Accept the fact that we have to treat almost anybody as a volunteer.

Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.

The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.

Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information.

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.

Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.

Most discussions of decision making assume that only senior executives make decisions or that only senior executives’ decisions matter. This is a dangerous mistake.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.

We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.

Management is doing things right;
leadership is doing the right things.

Teaching is the only major occupation of man for which we have not yet developed tools that make an average person capable of competence and performance.
In teaching we rely on the ‘naturals’, the ones who somehow know how to teach.

My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.

When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course.

A manager is responsible for the application and performance of knowledge.

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.

Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level.

Business, that’s easily defined – it’s other people’s money.

Few companies that installed computers to reduce the employment of clerks have realized their expectations… They now need more, and more expensive clerks even though they call them ‘operators’ or ‘programmers.’

Never mind your happiness; do your duty.

Suppliers and especially manufacturers have market power because they have information about a product or a service that the customer does not and cannot have, and does not need if he can trust the brand.
This explains the profitability of brands.

Company cultures are like country cultures.
Never try to change one.
Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got.

So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.

Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs.