Peter Drucker Quotes

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker is often referred to as the father of many modern management principles. According to Wikipedia:

Drucker was a management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation. He was also a leader in the development of management education, and he invented the concept known as management by objectives.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Drucker is oft called the man who invented management. His work explored how humans are organized across the business, government, and nonprofit sectors of society. He is often known as a social ecologist, for exploring how humans organize and interact –  similar to the way an ecologist would observe and analyze the biological world.

He is one of the best-known and most widely influential thinkers and writers on the subject of management theory and practice. His writings and his work accurately predicted many of the major developments of the late twentieth century, such as privatization and decentralization; the rise of Japan to economic world power; the decisive importance of marketing; and so on.

Today, the influence of his work can be found across many sectors of the society. In fact, many modern-day conglomerates, multinationals and large organizations borrow heavily from his life and his work – including the likes of General Electric, IBM, Intel, Procter & Gamble, Girl Scouts of the USA, The Salvation Army, Red Cross, United Farm Workers and several presidential administrations.

Apart from a countless number of articles and published papers to his name, Drucker also has 39 books on management and various concepts that fall under the management umbrella – with the The End of Economic Man (published in 1939) being one of his most popular works.

Winston Churchill for instance called Drucker “one of those writers to whom almost anything can be forgiven because he not only has a mind of his own, but has the gift of starting other minds along a stimulating line of thought.”

His quote about the difference between efficiency and effectiveness is one of his most famous. It, in simple and straightforward terms, lays bare the difference between these two key management terms, whilst emphasizing the importance of both at the same time. Indeed, doing this right and doing the right things are equally important when it comes to management. The thing, though, about the latter is that effectiveness doesn’t often come naturally, and being effective has to be (at times) learnt.

Here are some more Peter Drucker gems on business and management:

“The best way to predict your future is to create it”

“Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.”

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”