November 15, 2005
News & Opinion: Bob Nelson on Peter Drucker
The Father of Modern Management
Much can be said about the visionary, Peter Drucker, and his uncanny ability to cut to the core of things and make simple, provocative and well-supported insights that would systematically reshape the nature of business time and time again. Stating what was obvious before anyone else could see it was one of his trademarks that earned his much deserved reputation as a consultant's consultant and advisor to corporate CEOs.
Much less has been said of his equally effective teaching style. Dr. Drucker was from the classical style of teaching: He'd make a point then launch into a lengthy discourse for twenty or more minutes drawing from musical theory, the Spanish-American War, surgical procedures and various other seemingly unrelated fields, until he had woven a tapestry of evidence and come full-circle to his original observation, convincing you along the way that his conclusion was, in fact, the truth.
I used to drive him home after class where he lived in a modest house, like any other in the neighborhood. He advised me to learn the insights of my topic of interest through fieldwork prior to trying to prove those insights through research -- practical advice which I've strived to follow ever since.
Bob Nelson, Ph.D.
Author, 1001 Ways to Reward Employees and a
graduate of The Peter F. Drucker Graduate School
of Management at Claremont Graduate University,
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.