Friends in Japan tell us that when the 33 Chilean miners were rescued last week, broadcaster NHK reported on its nighttime news that the foreman, Luis Urzúa, must have been a Peter Drucker fan because of the strength of his leadership during crisis.
Actually, we aren’t really sure that Urzúa has read any Drucker. It seems that the NHK story may mostly be a reflection of the incredible Drucker boom underway right now in Japan. That has been spurred, in large part, by the runaway success of the novel What If a Female Manager of a High School Baseball Team Read Drucker’s “Management”?, which has now sold more than 1 million copies.
That said, it’s equally evident that Urzúa, who has been hailed for his ability to hold his team together while they were trapped underground for 70 days, exemplifies Drucker’s definition of leadership. “You cannot prevent a major catastrophe, but you can build an organization that is battle-ready, that has high morale, and . . . knows how to behave, trusts itself, and where people trust one another,” Drucker wrote.
At Drucker’s Japanese publisher, Diamond, staffers (like millions of others around the world) sat riveted as they watched the dramatic rescue of the miners. When NHK brought up the Drucker connection, the room erupted with shouts of “Chile! Chile! Chile!”