America the Scrutable

It’s almost Independence Day, a time to celebrate, but also contemplate, the American experience. In this edition of Drucker Apps, you’ll find tools that will help you understand the limitations of revolution, the powerful allure of politics in America, the dangers of charismatic leadership and the country’s fast-changing role in an increasingly global economy. These insights—at once timely and timeless—are based on the ideas and ideals of the late Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management.

Where Jefferson missed the mark

“’Every generation needs a new revolution,’ was Thomas Jefferson‘s conclusion toward the end of his long life…Yet ‘revolutions,’ as we have learned since Jefferson’s days, are not the remedy.”— Peter F. Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Why the idea of a revolution may be a “delusion.” Read more here.
  • How Peter Drucker sought to “strengthen civil society.” Read more here from when Drucker was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The great American art form: politics

“America was, and is, the only country that has a politician for its public saint: Abraham Lincoln.”— Peter F. Drucker, Adventures of a Bystander

  • How America’s “genius is political.”Read more here.
  • Hear Harvard’s David Gergen, a former presidential advisor and a co-chair of the Drucker Centennial Committee, discuss how Lincoln’s leadership would hold up in today’s world.

The dangers of charismatic leadership

“There is nostalgia for the time when politics was exciting and glamorous. But the desire for charisma is a political deathwish.”— Peter F. Drucker, The New Realities

  • Why the public is right to distrust “traditional leaders.” Read more here.
  • Listen to Marshall Goldsmith discuss the qualities great leaders share.

Why the U.S. is no longer “the big boss”

“America…will have to learn to be one of…half a dozen major players…one of equals.”— Peter F. Drucker in a radio interview with Tom Ashbrook on NPR’s On Point

  • Hear Peter Drucker discuss America’s new place on the world stage.