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Peter F. Drucker 1909-2005

Many years ago my girlfriend at the time once commented that I was never lonely in that when I wasn’t spending my time with her or someone else I would just go down to the shop and and paint while listening to music or get wrapped up in a book. She said that way I was always hanging around with virtual friends like Bruce Springsteen, Aaron Copland, or Tom Peters.

It struck me as a little bit ironic then when this morning I learned through Joe Ely’s Learning About Lean blog this morning that Peter F. Drucker had died. What was ironic was that Joe Elys post started by saying:

How do you describe a dear friend whom you have never met? Further, how do you explain the pit in the stomach when that dear friend dies? Which is what I feel this evening upon just learning of Peter Drucker’s death earlier today… more>

I wasn’t as well up on Peter Drucker as Joe Ely was but he was a friend and teacher of one of my dear friends that I have never met, Tom Peters. What I did read and listen to (audio tapes & CDs) of Peter Drucker came from Tom Peters mention of him. What I did know was that he was a remarkable thinker and that:

" …he preached that employees were a resource, not a cost." (from the NYTimes obit )

also from the New York Times:

As his career progressed and it became clearer that competitive pressures were keeping businesses from embracing many practices he advocated, like guaranteed wages and lifetime employment for industrial workers, he became increasingly interested in "the social sector," as he called the nonprofit groups.

Mr. Drucker counseled groups like the Girl Scouts to think like businesses even though their bottom line was "changed lives" rather than profits. He warned them that donors would increasingly judge them on results rather than intentions. In 1990, Frances Hesselbein, the former national director of the Girl Scouts, organized a group of admirers to honor him by setting up the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management in New York to expose nonprofits to Mr. Drucker’s thinking and to new concepts in management.

He certainly will be missed but his influence will be felt through those who learned from him for a long long time.


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J. Jerrald Hayes
Primus Inter Pares at Paradigm Projects, Ltd.
I am an architectural woodworker and general contractor turned IT, Business and Project Management consultant, software developer wannabe senior division triathlete and ski racer, Yankee fan and founder of, 360 Difference, and now too.
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