[book] A Class with Drucker

Rating : ★★★★★

A Class with Drucker is a masterpiece!

A Class with Drucker is a masterpiece!

Genre : Business
Author : William A. Cohen, Ph.D.

Jelas, A Class with Drucker: The Lost Lessons of the World’s Greatest Management Teacher bukan buku yang ditulis oleh Peter Drucker — tapi buku William Cohen mengenai Drucker. One of the most provoking books I’ve read in 2008. It is fascinating!

Kita diajak mengikuti jejak-jejak Drucker, terutama saat-saat Drucker mengajar kelas management di Claremont Graduate University.

Kalau ada yang bilang, dengan membaca kita dibawa untuk berimajinasi banyak hal; ini iya banget karena dengan membaca buku ini kita dibawa ke dalam ruang kelas dimana Drucker sebagai lecturer membagikan ilmunya, juga kita diajak kilas balik ~cerita ‘sejarah’ Drucker, bagaimana dia bisa menjadi bapak management modern sampai akhirnya Drucker tutup usia.

Walau selalu ditambah dengan pendapat & pengalamannya Cohen baik di kelas ataupun pada saat Cohen menjalani karir militernya, namun tokh tidak mengurangi kenikmatan dalam membaca buku ini. Serasa berbicara dengan classmate tentang seorang guru dalam kelas.

Lihat preview-nya disini

Lines yang menarik untuk diingat:

Chapter 1 – How I Became the Student of the Father of Modern Management
When it comes to managing our time in order to achieve our goals, and Peter was a master time manager. Each of us has the same amount of time, 24 hours a day. But some fritter away and waste their time on work which has no bearing on what they would like to accomplish or where they would like to be one, five, or ten years in the future.
Once you decide on “your business,” the non-essential work that you do becomes obvious. Maybe you are in the wrong job for where you want to be in ten years or for what you want to become. If that job is supporting you as you struggle to gain knowledge or in other ways work toward your “real” professional goal, you probably have to stick with it for the time being. But you are much less likely to reach your goal than someone who knows what “business” he or she is in and focuses on that to the exclusion of other activity non-essential to this goal.

Chapter 3 – What Everybody Knows is Frequently Wrong
What Drucker wanted to emphasize was that we must always question our assumptions no matter from where they originate. This is especially true regarding anything that a majority of people “know” or assume without questioning. This “knowledge” should always be suspect and needs to be examined much more closely. In a surprisingly high percentage of cases, the information “known to be true” will turn out to be false or inaccurate, if not generally, then in a specific instance. This can lead to extremely poor, even disastrous management decisions.

Chapter 4 – Self-Confidence Must Be Built Step-by-Step
There is an old saying that “nothing succeeds like success.” This means that success breeds success, or that if you have been successful in the past, you have a better chance of being successful, or at least will tend to be successful in the future. That’s at least partly because you gain confidence with every success.
So that’s the first lesson in developing your self-confidence: accept responsibility and start to do small things.

Chapter 5 – If You Keep Doing What Worked in the Past, You’re Going to Fail
Every environment changes. Eventually that change is sufficiently severe that you cannot adapt either a product or a procedure, no matter what you do. Sometimes this change is technological. Someone invents a mass-produced automobile. Think what this invention did to the buggy whip or the carriage industries—it destroyed them completely, and in a very short period of time.
Companies that cling to their past successes will eventually fail, sometimes in a spectacular way. Change is inevitable if you are going to stay successful. Be ready to turn on a dime and abandon everything that has made you what you are. Better yet, be a forward thinker and create your own changes and your own future.
According to Welch, Drucker’s two simple questions helped propel him to this amazing feat. The first question was, “If you weren’t already in the business, would you enter it today?” This Drucker followed with a second, more difficult question, “What are you going to do about it?” According to Welch, Drucker’s questions led him to shed unprofitable businesses and streamline GE into its extraordinary success.

Chapter 6 – Approach Problems with Your Ignorance—Not Your Experience
This was typical of the way in which Drucker disseminated his lessons. Drucker taught what to do. He was very specific about this. However, he did not teach how to do it.

Chapter 7 – Develop Expertise Outside Your Field to Be an Effective Manager
To become a strategic leader, you need to become proactive and take action starting now. The object is to start to think and act strategically, and to handle the increased complexity resulting from the necessity to integrate numerous elements that are, in some cases, far removed from your basic expertise and experience.

Chapter 9 – The Objective of Marketing is to Make Selling Unnecessary
Marketing and selling are not identical. Selling and marketing are neither synonymous nor complementary. One could consider them adversarial in some cases. There is no doubt that if marketing were done perfectly, selling, in the actual sense of the word, would be unnecessary.
Drucker went on to explain that marketing was more than just an important business function. In fact, he said it wasn’t a business function at all, but rather the basis of any business.

Chapter 13 – You Must Know Your People to Lead Them
For leaders at all levels, what this means is that it is critical that you know your people, their capabilities and limitations, and how they are likely to react in any situation. The more you can do this, the better you are able to lead them.

Chapter 14 – People Have No Limits, Even After Failure
Drucker recommended three prime rules for staffing:
1. Think through the requirements of the job.
2. Choose three or four candidates for the job, rather than immediately settling on just one.
3. Don’t make the selection without discussing the choice with a number of knowledgeable colleagues.

It is certainly a book to read again, dan kalau hanya ingin ambil intisarinya; cukup baca di bagian Drucker Lesson Summary, pada akhir setiap bab.

“I was privileged and blessed to be Peter Drucker’s student. The impact that he had on me and on my life was profound. I was far from alone in this regard.” (Cohen, p. 248)

Mimicking from Cohen, I’d like to say: Thank you, Peter; Thank you, Cohen

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