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The Essential Drucker

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  9,868 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Father of modern management, social commentator, and preeminent business philosopher, Peter F. Drucker has been analyzing economics and society for more than sixty years. Now for readers everywhere who are concerned with the ways that management practices and principles affect the performance of the organization, the individual, and society, there is The Essential Drucker ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 29th 2003 by ReganBooks (first published January 1st 2000)
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Aug 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I'm a total business book nerd- but I really enjoyed this one. Some of my favorite quotes:

If communication fits in with the aspirations, the values, the purposes of the recipient, it is powerful. If it goes against his aspirations, his values, his motivations, it is likely to be received at all or at best to be resisted.

Waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence"

"commitment to contribution is commitment to responsible effectiveness"
Most suppliers don't think of pric
Gene Babon
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
Reading The Essential Drucker is like listening to a boxed set from your favorite recording artist in vinyl format. The music is timeless and so is the business advice of Peter Drucker.

Here are a hand-selected dozen of The Greatest Hits you will experience during this journey through six decades of mastering the art and science of management:
There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.
Because its purpose it to create a customer, the business enterprise has two --
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The plain-spoken stark insights in this book made me feel like I was reading philosophy although the subject matter is management. He really has pioneered a theoretical discipline of "management" and I found his thinking to be both pragmatically informative AND intellectually stimulating. Anyone interested in Organizational Behaviour or Management, or perhaps even economic organizational thought, should get a good dose of Peter Drucker--and I felt like I got that in this excellent compilation. H ...more
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
The chapters in this book come from books and essays that were previously published. The preface identifies where the chapters came from.

I finished reading "The Essential Drucker" today. I started reading it over a year ago and my reading in it languished. During that period of not reading it, I managed to pick up a second copy at a used book store. Even though I wasn't currently reading it, I have found his writings to be solid. Then, a few weeks ago I picked it up and began reading in earnest.
Tõnu Vahtra
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Not to innovate is the single largest reason for the decline of existing organizations. Not to know how to manage is the single largest reason for the failure of new ventures.”
Highlights of Drucker's management body of knowledge created during 60 years, published almost 20 years ago... means the contents have to be taken with certain reservations (i.e. introducing the knowledge worker as a new phenomena). There are many ageless principles in this book as it's still very often cited by managemen
Morteza Nokhodian
Sep 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
overall, I liked the book. However, as someone in the entrepreneurial field, I was learning many of the concepts in the field and that makes you a bit resistant to some points. However, as a general rule book, I would say it's great for everyone who is dreaming to start a company or manage a group of people. ...more
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Max Nova
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: management
The Essential Drucker" is one of those books that is tough to review because it covers so much great content with such a deep level of insight. What's most remarkable is that he covers the huge subject of management in a 350 page book but it's so packed full of information that it seems like the book should have been more like 1,000 pages. He covers subjects such as "Dimensions of Management" (Mission, Worker Achievement, and Social Responsibilities), transparency and responsibility in organizat ...more
Bob Wallner
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership, strategy
I know that Drucker is one of the foremost authorities on 20th century Management.
I know that his contemporaries consider Drucker a genius.
I personally simply have a hard time following his writings, and this book was no exception.

The Essential Drucker compiles a "Reader's Digest Version" from his top works on management and leadership. Covering topics such as his famous predictions on knowledge work economy to the entrepreneurial spirit of the future employee. Drucker dives into managing and
Tyson Titensor
May 04, 2012 rated it liked it
The person who recommended this book gave me a list of chapters he found worthwhile. I decided to ignore his advice and just read the whole thing. I probably should have just read the recommended chapters as some sections were much better than others. Fortunately, it's easy to skim through the slow parts. Worthwhile for sure. ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every manager’s advisor. For me it’s not a book that you start at the 1st page and finish at the last page after some time. It’s a book that you always come back to find advice, solution or inspiration about people and business management.
Joshua R. Taylor
Apr 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
A fabulous tour of not just management, but the role of organisations in the present and how an individual can fit into that role. However there were times where I questioned how well the content has aged, having been published in 2001 -- I would be curious as how the late Peter Drucker may have updated some of his views in light of the past 20 years. This collection of essays is split into three sections: management, the individual and society; each decreasing in size and increasing in senility ...more
Apr 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Full of experience about people in business, in managing a business... he is right, one leads people as a manager! A must read if you are in any business.
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: management
read this every year.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A-Z on Management, atleast for a beginner
Okay breathe, whew Spring semester down and I can say goodbye to Perter F. Drucker, the man whose sixty years of management experience has dominated my life since January. I have read, cited, quoted and paraphrased this man so much I feel like I know him, or definitely how he feels about management from starting a business, hiring, planning, testing, implementing innovation, the manager as an individual and how they lead an organization. I can start and go through each chapter but I won’t—LOL I ...more
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: management
Peter Drucker has a certain reputation in the business of business philosophy, and The Essential Drucker (TED) doesn’t disappoint. These are the greatest hits from decades of writing: an eminently quotable collection of practical advice and abstract philosophy for the humans powering the knowledge economy.

The balance of the wisdom that Drucker dispenses is aimed at practical steps that managers–and in the knowledge economy, everyone is a manager–can employ to futher their work. Focus objectives,
Jason Braatz
May 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
"Essential" isn't the word I'd use for this book ; it's a hodgepodge of Drucker's other books, apparently with guidance from a Japanese translator and I could hardly keep my eyes open on some chapters. I've not read Drucker's previous works though I'm certain they were great for their time. Peter Drucker does do a great job as a prognosticator in certain areas, and what you read here (some of it written in the late 1990s) is actually unfolding today within a business and a socioeconomic context. ...more
Ahmad Abdelbari
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Quotes from the book:

-Not to innovate is the single largest reason for the decline of existing organizations. Not to know how to manage is the single largest reason for the failure of a new ventures.

-the most productive innovation is a different product or service creating a new potential satisfaction, rather than an improvement.

-innovation may be finding a new uses for old products. A sales man who succeeds in selling refrigerators to Eskimos to prevent food from freezing would be as much of an
Jul 17, 2022 rated it really liked it
I don't agree with all of Drucker's conclusions or his predictions, but I am sure that's because of my superpower of hindsight and not due to a better understanding.

He thinks Nonprofits are great. I have never worked with a large scale nonprofit to comment on this. But if I were to throw in my own two cents, I imagine that the large ones looks just like cooperate America but with more free labor.

I don't really see where he's going with this post-capitalism with the entrepreneurial society. Somet
Hill Krishnan
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What if you get a chance to learn 60 years of wisdom of management from the “Father of Modern Management” in simple language in just 3.5 hours?
3 quick takeaways:
1. Every organization needs management to improve performance and results and it’s not just for profit organization (the latter will be business management). If humans come together to achieve a goal then it must be managed (e.g. volunteers for American Red Cross must be managed).
2. Every aspect of the organization must have objectives
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you have read other books be Peter Drucker, you would find the same central ideas:
Business doesn't exist for profit, profit is only a constraint. Any organization is a social organ.
Personal effectiveness principles: find your strength, concentrate on your strength, know how you learn and work the best, decide on your contribution.
The scarcest resource in any organization are performing people.
Give job to people depending on the task. Ask yourself, "What kind of abilities do I need here?"
Sagar  Ganga
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
More of a textbook on management, very informative nevertheless. Definitely not for a casual read. To be more precise, the book is divided into three parts. The first part gives guidelines on how a company/organization needs to be managed, more relevant for executives and entrepreneurs. The second part is on personal development in terms of management, which would be relevant for a regular reader. The third part talks about community, which sounded more like a history textbook. Overall, a lot of ...more
Esequiel Contreras Jr
What else can be said about Peter Drucker?

My first reading of Drucker’s The Effective Executive transformed how I execute my priorities at work.

A complete 180 in how I think those processes should be managed and an eye opening experience in how I have been mentally rejuvenated.

The Essential Drucker has added clarity to what I have already implemented. Read anything Drucker for the sole purpose of understanding oneself and how one should manage their time and look forward to the next stage in
Richard Subber
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Drucker says that “The concept of profit maximization is, in fact, meaningless” as an explanation of the purpose of a company or business. (“Profit maximization” is also understood as “increase shareholder wealth”).
Drucker says that the purpose of a business is to “create a customer” and provide an economically viable product or service, “a social contribution.”
Profitability is the test of a company’s success, not an end in itself.
It’s not all about the money, money, money.

Read more of my book r
Lauren Burroughs
More than a decade after his death his business and management lessons are still true. Since the time of original publishing much of these foundational principles have spawned their own books.

I'm confident that without a group to dig into the principles of the book I would not have appreciated it as much. Overall, I'm glad that I read this book but Drucker's light touch left me wishing that I was just going straight for some of the newer books on the specific topics.

Read my full review
N.E. Johnson
Jun 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recs-self-help
I think everyone who is in management or has any influence on management should read this. If management in the tech industry had thought like this I would probably still be there.

That being said, for most people it is just a work to be skimmed. This book is interesting; but slow, dense, and not particularly helpful to those with no say in management. In fact if you are under a bad manager this will probably just make you angrier with them, on the other hand it might give you some idea of what t
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Took 18 pages of notes on this highly readable book. Such brilliantly relevant insights on the fundamentals of management that every knowledge worker must know, whether in business, government, or non-profit. Drucker speaks to everyone - from the manager striving to create an environment that fuels innovation to the blue-collar worker contending with his/her sudden fall from prominence in the knowledge society. This book should be compulsory
Ning-Jia Ong
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best book I read this year. Explains all the root ideas of today's management fads about Agile, Lean, etc. But what was most surprising was the section about the individual. Drucker has spent a great amount of effort in thinking from the perspective of an individual finding his/her place in society and has many relevant advice on how to be efficient as a knowledge worker.

Absolutely love it. Gives so much context to the other management, business, and entrepreneurial books I've read.
Todd Cheng
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Management is a complex weave of process, technology, people, and knowledge. Peter Drucker unravels that complex ball to share meaningful insights. It is a bit like alchemy, but he does it with simple concise narrative. He shares the history, philosophy, science, and catalyst for key changes. This book is the culmination of 60 years of distilled transformational insights in the field.

This book is on my shelf to re-read in five years when in I can revisit again with an updated perspective.
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Peter Ferdinand Drucker was a writer, management consultant and university professor. His writing focused on management-related literature. Peter Drucker made famous the term knowledge worker and is thought to have unknowingly ushered in the knowledge economy, which effectively challenges Karl Marx's world-view of the political economy. George Orwell credits Peter Drucker as one of the only writer ...more

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