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Crisis and Leadership: reflections from Dr. Peter Drucker

For me, Peter Drucker is the inventor of modern management. I find myself remembering and referring to his wisdom time and time again. Hey, he coined the phrase ‘Knowledge worker’ back in 1959 – he was always ahead of the game …… and is always worth revisiting ….

‘Leadership is a foul-weather job’ Dr Peter Drucker (1909-2005)

The most successful leader of the twentieth century was Winston Churchill. But for twelve years, from 1928 to Dunkirk in 1940, he was totally on the sidelines, almost discredited – because there was no need for a Churchill. Things were routine or, at any rate, looked routine. When the catastrophe came, thank goodness he was available. Fortunately or unfortunately, the one predictable thing in any organization is the crisis. That always comes. That’s when you do depend on the leader.
The most important task of an organization’s leader is to anticipate crisis. Perhaps not to avert it, but to anticipate it. To wait until crisis hits is abdication. One has to make the organization capable of anticipating the storm, weathering it, and in fact, being ahead of it. You cannot prevent a major catastrophe, but you can build an organization that is battle-ready, that has high morale, that knows how to behave, that trusts itself, and where people trust one another. In military training, the first rule is to instill soldiers with trust in their officers, because without trust they won’t fight.

Action Point: Confront the major problems facing your organization. Communicate their essence frankly and fully. Gather support for taking the steps necessary to solve them.

Now go and buy Peter Drucker’s book: The Daily Drucker – a great investment in yourself.

Or contact me to discuss how we can tailor a programme to your exact needs.

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