20 Quotes From Drucker & Me by Bob Buford

May 7, 2014


I just finished reading the newly released book by Bob Buford, “Drucker & Me: What a Texas Entrepreneur Learned from the Father of Modern Management.” I really enjoyed this particular book for two reasons. First, I was able to learn more about Peter Drucker and Bob Buford. I have been exposed to these two men over the years but never met them personally. Second, I enjoyed this book is because I was able to learn more about how Peter Drucker embraced the non-profit sector of our society because he knew the value of it’s impact on the world.

Here are 20 quotes or observations from Drucker & Me:

  • Begin with the end in sight!
  • Everyone is an organ of society and exists for the sake of society. Business is no exception. Free enterprise cannot be justified as being good for business; it can be justified only as being good for society.
  • Drucker’s primary contribution is not a single idea, but rather an entire body of work that has one gigantic advantage: nearly all of it is essentially right. Drucker has an uncanny ability to develop insights about the workings of the social world, and to later be proven right by history – Jim Collins
  • Management is a “human activity” rather than a tool or process for running a business.
  • With people, you focus on performance, not potential. You focus on what they can do–their strengths–not on what they might do sometime in the future. What they can’t do is someone else’s job.
  • Don’t complain about people’s weaknesses rather focus on their strengths and move them into areas where those strengths can thrive.
  • Approach problems by asking questions.
  • Look for people who are receptive to what you want to do, rather than push rocks uphill the rest of your life.
  • Drucker observed the shift from laborer to “knowledge worker.”
  • The fruit of your work grows on other people’s trees. // amen.
  • The function of management in a church is to make the church more church-like, not to make it more business-like.
  • Drucker reminded (mega-church pastors) that their success is largely due to the fact that their churches are pastoral, meaning that they served individuals, understood their needs, and cared for their souls.
  • If this country does not survive as a Christian nation, it will not survive.
  • The way they decide what needs to be done is to do more of the things that don’t work (referring to the enormous number of churches that are unhealthy and either declining or simply maintaing the status quo.)
  • Good intentions are not enough; always measure the results of your efforts to make sure you are getting the most out of your investment of time and resources.
  • Leaders do not start with the question ‘What do I want to do?’ Instead, great leaders always ask, ‘What needs to be done?’
  • Yesterday’s innovation can end up being today’s status quo.
  • Purposeful innovation results from ‘analysis, systematic review, and hard work, and can be taught, replicated, and learned.’
  • Five basic questions for executives/pastors to ask: What is my business on earth? Who are my customers or those that I hope to serve? What are their values? What have been my results so far with that group of customers? What’s my plan going forward?
  • The pastoral mega-churches are surely the most important social phenomenon in American society in the last thirty years.

What is your favorite Drucker quote? What is your favorite Drucker book?


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