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117 Greatest Peter Drucker Quotes Of All Time

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117 Greatest Peter Drucker Quotes Of All Time

Looking for the best Peter Drucker quotes? Then look no further!

Peter Drucker (1909 to 2005) was regarded as the founder of modern management.

He was a professor, consultant, speaker, thinker and the author of 39 books and various essays translated in as many languages.

His thoughts on business management, leadership, people and performance, innovation, change, and competition have influenced the largest corporations in the world today and continue to do so because he was well ahead of the times.

With such an extensive library of timeless wisdom its always difficult to pick out the very best Peter Drucker quotes but I’ve put together what I believe are the greatest quotes by Peter Drucker on business, leadership, management and personal performance.

If you’re in business and entrepreneurship then make sure you read the following quotes and take away some nuggets of wisdom from one of the greatest management thought leaders to have lived.

117 Peter Drucker Quotes

1. “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” – Peter Drucker

2. “The problem in my life and other people’s lives is not the absence of knowing what to do, but the absence of doing it.” – Peter Drucker

3. “Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice.” – Peter Drucker

4. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

5. “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

6. “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Peter Drucker

7. “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” – Peter Drucker

8. “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.” – Peter Drucker

9. “Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” – Peter Drucker

10. “The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.” – Peter Drucker

11. “The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.” – Peter Drucker

12. “Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level.” – Peter Drucker

13. “No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.” – Peter Drucker

14. “People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.” – Peter Drucker

15. “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” – Peter Drucker

16. “The most efficient way to produce anything is to bring together under one management as many as possible of the activities needed to turn out the product.” – Peter Drucker

17. “Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.” – Peter Drucker

18. “We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” – Peter Drucker

19. “Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information.” – Peter Drucker

20. “Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got.” – Peter Drucker

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

22. “Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.” – Peter Drucker

23. “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.
The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” – Peter Drucker

24. “The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” – Peter Drucker

25. “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” – Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker Quote - Efficiency is doing things right; 26. “Management by objective works – if you know the objectives. Ninety percent of the time you don’t.” – Peter Drucker

27. “Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.” – Peter Drucker

28. “Accept the fact that we have to treat almost anybody as a volunteer.” – Peter Drucker

30. “Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right.” – Peter Drucker

31. “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” – Peter Drucker

32. “What gets measured gets improved.” – Peter Drucker

33. “Results are gained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.” – Peter Drucker

34. “Long-range planning does not deal with the future decisions, but with the future of present decisions.” – Peter Drucker

35. “Meetings are a symptom of bad organization. The fewer meetings the better.” – Peter Drucker

36. “Leadership is not magnetic personality–that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not making friends and influencing people –that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” – Peter Drucker

37. “The better a man is the more mistakes he will make for the more things he will try.” – Peter Drucker

38. “One cannot buy, rent or hire more time. The supply of time is totally inelastic. No matter how high the demand, the supply will not go up. There is no price for it. Time is totally perishable and cannot be stored. Yesterday’s time is gone forever, and will never come back. Time is always in short supply. There is no substitute for time. Everything requires time. All work takes place in, and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable and necessary resource.” – Peter Drucker

39. “Time is the scarcest resource of the manager; If it is not managed, nothing else can be managed.” – Peter Drucker

40. “What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it, that’s another matter.” – Peter Drucker

41. “The three most charismatic leaders in this century inflicted more suffering on the human race than almost any trio in history: Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. What matters is not the leader’s charisma. What matters is the leader’s mission.” – Peter Drucker

42. “No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.” – Peter Drucker

43. “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter Drucker

44. “The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.” – Peter Drucker

45. “Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.” – Peter Drucker

46. “Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art.” – Peter Drucker

47. “A person can perform only from strength. One cannot build performance on weakness, let alone on something one cannot do at all.” – Peter Drucker

48. “History has been written not by the most talented but by the most motivated.” – Peter Drucker

49. “Successful leaders don’t start out asking, “What do I want to do?” They ask, “What needs to be done?” Then they ask, “Of those things that would make a difference, which are right for me?” – Peter Drucker

50. “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” – Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker Quotes - The most important thing in communication... 51. “Do not believe that it is very much of an advance to do the unnecessary three times as fast.” – Peter Drucker

52. “The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The true dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.” – Peter Drucker

53. “Entrepreneurship is “risky” mainly because so few of the so-called entrepreneurs know what they are doing.” – Peter Drucker

54. “Managers are action-focused; they are not philosophers and should not be.” – Peter Drucker

55. “Cultivate a deep understanding of yourself – not only what your strengths and weaknesses are but also how you learn, how you work with others, what your values are, and where you can make the greatest contribution. Because only when you operate from strengths can you achieve true excellence.” – Peter Drucker

56. “The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills.Everything else will become obsolete over time.” – Peter Drucker

57. “It’s amazing how many things busy people are doing that never will be missed.” – Peter Drucker

58. “If you have more than five goals, you have none.” – Peter Drucker

59. “To make the future demands courage. It demands work. But it also demands faith.” – Peter Drucker

60. “There are two types of people in the business community: those who produce results and those who give you reasons why they didn’t.” – Peter Drucker

61. “The critical question is not “How can I achieve?” but “What can I contribute?”” – Peter Drucker

62. “You cannot prevent a major catastrophe, but you can build an organization that is battle-ready, where people trust one another. In military training, the first rule is to instill soldiers with trust in their officers – because without trust, they won’t fight.” – Peter Drucker

63. “Every time you do something that is important, write down what you expect will happen.” – Peter Drucker

64. “As a manager you’re paid to be uncomfortable. If you’re comfortable, it’s a sure sign you’re doing things wrong.” – Peter Drucker

65. “There is the risk you cannot afford to take, and there is the risk you cannot afford not to take.” – Peter Drucker

66. “To make a living is no longer enough. Work also has to make a life.” – Peter Drucker

67. “To succeed in this new world, we will have to learn, first, who we are. Few people, even highly successful people, can answer the questions, Do you know what you’re good at? Do you know what you need to learn so that you get the full benefit of your strengths? Few have even asked themselves these questions.” – Peter Drucker

68. “Adequacy is the enemy of excellence.” – Peter Drucker

69. “Brilliant men are often strikingly ineffectual. They fail to realize that the brilliant insight is not by itself achievement. They never have learned that insights become effectiveness only through hard systematic work.” – Peter Drucker

70. “Replace your pursuit of success with the pursuit of contribution.” – Peter Drucker

71. “There are just two questions to ask to attain success in business: First, “What business am I in?” Second, “How’s business?”” – Peter Drucker

72. “Effective people are not problem minded; they’re opportunity-minded. They feed opportunities and starve problems. They think preventively.” – Peter Drucker

73. “Don’t try to innovate for the future. Innovate for the present!” – Peter Drucker

74. “The customer rarely buys what the company thinks it’s selling.” – Peter Drucker

75. “We live in an age of unprecedented opportunity: If you’ve got ambition and smarts, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession, regardless of where you started out.” – Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker Quote: If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old 76. “The most effective way to manage change is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

77. “Education gives you neither experience nor wisdom.” – Peter Drucker

78. “Elephants have a hard time adapting. Cockroaches outlive everything.” – Peter Drucker

79. “Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality.” – Peter Drucker

80. “It takes far less energy to move from first-rate performance to excellence than it does to move from incompetence to mediocrity.” – Peter Drucker

81. “Ideas are like frog eggs: you’ve got to lay a thousand to hatch one.” – Peter Drucker

82. “Profit is not the purpose of a business, but rather the test of its validity.” – Peter Drucker

83. “Everybody has accepted by now that change is unavoidable. But that still implies that change is like death and taxes – it should be postponed as long as possible and no change would be vastly preferable. But in a period of upheaval, such as the one we are living in, change is the norm.” – Peter Drucker

84. “Success? Odd as it seems, you will achieve the greatest results in business and career if you drop the word ‘achievement’ from your vocabulary and replace it with ‘contribution’.” – Peter Drucker

85. “You can either take action, or you can hang back and hope for a miracle. Miracles are great, but they are so unpredictable.” – Peter Drucker

86. “What the customer buys and considers value is never a product. It is always utility, that is, what a product or a service does for the customer.” – Peter Drucker

87. “Most of what you hear about entrepreneurship is all wrong. It’s not magic; it’s not mysterious; and it has nothing to do with genes. It’s a discipline and, like any discipline, it can be learned.” – Peter Drucker

88. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” – Peter Drucker

89. “Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” – Peter Drucker

90. “Never ask who’s right. Start out by asking what is right. And you find that out by listening to dissenting, disagreeing opinions.” – Peter Drucker

91. “Look upon every obstacle as part payment towards your success.” – Peter Drucker

92. “Great wisdom not applied to action and behavior is meaningless data.” – Peter Drucker

93. “Success always obsoletes the very behavior that achieved it.” – Peter Drucker

94. “Do not measure your life by your goals but what you are doing to achieve them.” – Peter Drucker

95. “Growth that adds volume without improving productivity is fat. Growth that diminishes productivity is cancer.” – Peter Drucker

96. “Plans are worthless, but planning is invaluable.” – Peter Drucker

97. “To survive and succeed, every organization will have to turn itself into a change agent.” – Peter Drucker

98. “Ideas are cheap and abundant; what is of value is the effective placement of those ideas into situations that develop into action.” – Peter Drucker

99. “Absolute size by itself is no indicator of success and achievement, let alone of managerial competence. Being the right size is.” – Peter Drucker

100. “A success that has outlived its usefulness may, in the end, be more damaging than failure.” – Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker Quotes: Replace your pursuit of success with the pursuit of contribution 101. “Leadership is not rank, privileges, title or money. It is responsibility.” – Peter Drucker

102. “Our job in life is to make a positive difference, not prove we’re right.” – Peter Drucker

103. “People who need certainty are unlikely to make good entrepreneurs.” – Peter Drucker

104. “No one has ever failed to find the facts they are looking for.” – Peter Drucker

105. “If you’re not living life on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” – Peter Drucker

106. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

107. “The real achiever do one thing at a time.” – Peter Drucker

108. “By themselves, character and integrity do not accomplish anything. But their absence faults everything else.” – Peter Drucker

109. “Luck never built a business. Prosperity and growth come only to the business that systematically finds and exploits its potential.” – Peter Drucker

110. “Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.” – Peter Drucker

111. “It is better to pick the wrong priority than none at all.” – Peter Drucker

112. “To satisfy the customer is the mission and purpose of every business.” – Peter Drucker

113. “Most innovators are successful to the extent to which they define risks and confine them.” – Peter Drucker

114. “Keep your eye on the task, not on yourself. The task matters, and you are a servant
Vision without execution is delusion. The joy is in the results.” – Peter Drucker

115. “One can either work or meet. One cannot do both at the same time.” – Peter Drucker

116. “Defending yesterday is far more risky than making tomorrow.” – Peter Drucker

117. “Every success creates new opportunities. So does every failure.” – Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker Quotes: The best way to predict the future is to predict itDid you find these Peter Drucker Quotes helpful?

If you liked these Peter Drucker quotes then please share this post to help others. I’d also love to know which Peter Drucker quote is your favourite. Let me know in the comments below!

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