July 8, 2021

A Day of Drucker – 5 key takeaways for managers

In a time of great uncertainty, every bit of stability is welcome. The 13th Peter Drucker Forum delivered exactly that. Despite pandemic-related restrictions, The Day of Drucker 2021 managed to deliver 12 hours of forwarding thinking ideas to honor Peter Drucker’s legacy as the father of management.

In true new-normal fashion, scholars and management executives discussed current burning questions via Livestream. The event was the second big online panel forum since the start of the pandemic. Management amid disruptions, technological transformation, and increasingly knowledge-based economies made for extremely relevant subjects. Here are some key takeaways for managers and leaders.

The value of human relations

Peter Drucker’s human-centric vision makes his way of thinking timeless. Learning and analyzing the people you work with helps you understand their strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. At a time in which employee relations are increasingly outsourced, and a large percentage of the workforce has no choice but to work remotely, preserving the human aspect is crucial. Developing talent is a business’s most important challenge because people are still its greatest asset. As Drucker once said: “listen to people, you cannot listen enough”. 

The best way to predict the future is to create it!

Situations change quickly in today’s fast-moving world. Disruptions like the global pandemic demand fast reactions. Managers must be nimble, and ready to embrace change to stay relevant. Learning new approaches not just from competitors but from entirely different industries may hold the key. Empowering employees to be change-makers is another potential source of inspiration to improve your business. A good idea makes all the difference in these trying times, no matter where it comes from. 

Never stop learning

Staying inquisitive was Peter Drucker’s trademark. Managers need constant evolution. The uncertainty of the market demands learning new things to make better choices. By discovering new ideas, we find new solutions to prevalent problems. An additional benefit is that curious managers can inspire employees. In short, staying inquisitive optimizes performance. Managing oneself and assessing your strengths and weaknesses provides the opportunity for improvement to benefit our career, business, and the people around us.

Titles do not make people!

As we progress in our careers and rise to prestigious positions, it is vital to understand our priorities. To maintain a balanced lifestyle, we should have diverse interests.  Development Dimensions International’s Global Leadership Forecast 2021 found that nearly 60% of surveyed leaders showed signs of burnout. Increased stress during the pandemic-related crisis is a major contributing factor. Finding the time to make room for other things in life can be difficult, but it is to the benefit of physical and mental wellbeing and satisfaction. An overwhelmed manager may be of great detriment as they may struggle to lead people effectively. It is crucial to make time to reflect on your management style and explore ways to improve and grow.

Managers are leaders of Society!

A leader in any business has the responsibility of words and deeds. Peter Drucker believed that a manager must strengthen the liberal democracy of the justice state, as forming responsible opinions is at the heart of our duty. Managers must commit themselves when they open their mouths, not just when in formal settings, but at all times, including informal interactions with employees. Knowing what kind of example you want to set and acting accordingly will shape the culture around you, from customers to colleagues.

Managers need to understand the value of human beings. A day of Drucker focused on delivering this message all through its 12-hour runtime. Understanding the inner workings of your business is only half of the work managers are required to be better at moving forward. Empathy and compassion for the people around you as well as adaptability, curiosity makes the modern leader. Peter Drucker continues to be an inspiration and a force for change for the better. Learning from him is learning from the best.