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The Essential Drucker

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  8,965 ratings  ·  145 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
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
Gene Babon
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 --
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Seekers of understanding
Recommended to Keith by: My reading of articles by him.
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.
Jan 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
What to say about a book trying to summarize the essentials of Peter Drucker's thinking and writing? Maybe this: if you read only one book about business in your whole life, read this one.

It's not written in the typical, upbeat and hands-on style one expects from business books these days; it is, quite the contrary, a very dense, thoughtful and hard-to-digest glimpse into many areas of business, starting with management within an enterprise, switching over to the role of the individual in the en
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
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
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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.
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.
Charlane Brady
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
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
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Apart from the business and entrepreneurship part, it is really wonderful to see a cultivated view on the future of society and how things evolved: yes, the social media big-five companies are based on the knowledge economy, however the environment they were brought in is nothing like Drucker predicted. Communication and political correctness went in the opposite direction, while focusing on your skills as a knowledge success human is being applied today and more than that, spread harder by infl ...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
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
Shelves: reread
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.
May 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a pretty dull read. If you have taken a management course before you have probably covered many of the ideas discussed.
Also, I would not recommend simply reading this book independently. If I had read it for a class where my focus would have been on discussing how to practically apply concepts after reading the book, I probably would have given a more favorable review.
Navid Baharlooie
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent collection of essays. The first time I read this, many years ago, I didn't really understand what the fuss about Drucker was all about. Now I do. You'll gain incredibly more from the essays if you've had a job for some years. A great mix of theoretical explanations and actionable insights about business, management and work.
Joe Colistro
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tons of wisdom and applicable stuff in here. The early chapters were great and had some really interesting viewpoints on organizations and leadership that I'd not considered.

The final third of the book gets a bit metaphysical and shows its age, with a limited understanding of the lengths that technology would advance in the early 21st century.

Wei Cui
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great book for knowledge workers. This book shows deep undertanding of Philosophy, Ecomomy, and History, in the mean time with handy tips that can be applied in my daily work.

I especially like section II The individual, which contains a great discussion on rising and speciality of knowledge workers. Chapters in this section serve as a great guide for career planning of knowledge workers.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Overall very good. The last section and chapters on society however, are a sort of horrible time-capsule of the early 90s and I found them hugely problematic owing to the substantial world changes in the 24 years since the original publication.
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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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