Drucker's Wisdom: Five Nuggets

Peter Drucker, who died in 2005 at 95, was known as “the father of modern management.” Bruce Rosenstein interviewed and wrote about Drucker both for USA TODAY and his new book Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life. Bruce calls it “the self-help guide Drucker never wrote, and the next best thing to being mentored by him.” Consider these five tips for leading a meaningful and fulfilling life from Drucker’s life and work.

1. Live in more than one world
The most satisfied, contented people, in Drucker’s estimation, lead multidimensional lives with diverse people, activities and pursuits. This can provide a cushion against setbacks in life, especially at work, and gives you the opportunity for new knowledge, professional advancement and leadership experience.

2. Tap into the power of an achievement focus
Drucker believed that making money as a primary goal was short-sighted. If you are achievement-focused rather than money-focused, you will gain satisfaction from leaving behind something of value for other people and future generations.

3. Make a (flexible) plan for the coming year
At some point during the year (and it doesn’t have to be the end of the calendar year), assess what worked and what didn’t in your personal and professional life during the past year. Did the results surprise you? They often did for Drucker. This can be an excellent starting point for redirecting your priorities for the following year.

4. Run with success

Drucker ran with what was successful in his life, and didn’t worry too much about things that didn’t work out as well as he’d hoped. (Example: He wrote and published two novels in the 1980s that didn’t sell well.) He had an interesting spin on a well-known saying: “If at first you don’t succeed,” Drucker said, “try once more, and then try something else.”

5. Give back by teaching
Drucker said that no one learns as much as the person who must teach his subject. Think about giving back to society or your profession by getting into part-time teaching, either as a volunteer or as an adjunct professor at a local university.

Thoughts? Reactions? Other Drucker-isms? Chime in below.


More Damage Than Good?

Andrea Batista Schlesinger is the Executive Director of the Drum Major Institute and a key player in progressive politics and policy. Consider Andrea's five reasons why the involvement of young people in politics, even in the Obama era, is a cause for concern:

1. Young people aren’t really following the news.
Despite being always “online,”today’s young people follow the news less than any previous generation, research shows. Despite the abundance of news updates – or perhaps because of them – young people have developed a habit of superficially grazing on the news and not digging very deeply.

2. Young people connect globally but remain unprepared to act locally.

Our No Child Left Behind era doesn't value civics. Even the best programs, like the Center for Civic Education’s excellent Project Citizen (which challenges children to identify community problems, learn about local government, and propose solutions) reach only a fraction of America's students. Civics teaches young people how to affect local democracy; without it, how will young people learn to interact with their local city governments, school boards, and state legislatures?

3. Millennials are a generation of “problem solvers.”
Some have characterized the millennial generation as problem-solvers who act directly on issues and don’t believe in waiting around for the government to create change. Great! However, real change comes from collectively affecting government policy -- a drier prospect that admittedly holds less appeal for most people and results in less energy and action around the all-important process of changing and creating new policies.

4. Political parties still only care about young people every four years.

Young people remained disengaged from politics up until the last two years because political parties were not interested in their engagement. It's been a brutally self-fulfilling prophecy for too long: parties don't bother to try to get the youth vote out, so the youth don't vote, so the parties don't care. Despite young people's roles in the Obama campaign, don’t be surprised if the larger political infrastructure ignores young people’s political involvement. Until 2012, that is. 

5. Certain influential people don't want young people to be informed or engaged.
The Manhattan Institute – an exceptionally well-funded conservative think tank – has a new pet peeve: social justice education.  Sol Stern, a fellow, makes a practice of attacking some schools for their desire to engage young people in creating change in their communities. Without such instruction, these young people will not know how to go about creating real change, and possibly do more damage than good.

Do you agree with Andrea or do you feel otherwise? Are there other hidden dangers in political involvement by youth, or is she not addressing other crucial factors that argue against her stance? Weigh in below.