What Peter Drucker Would Be Reading

Peter Drucker

Recent selections from around the web that, we think, would have caught Peter Drucker’s eye:

1.     Campaign Sources: The Romney Campaign was a Consultant Con Job: Many case studies have been written on failed (or, for that matter, successful) presidential campaigns. But surely there’s an instant classic in the botched IT effort by the Mitt Romney campaign to make use of a voter-mobilization system called Orca—and the role of the consultants who vouched for it. In a post at the site RedState, contributor Ben Howe writes that “the Romney campaign was a hostile battlefield of egos in which these consultants viewed any opposition to their world view as coming from an enemy” and cites this as a reason for why Orca had “no ability to have a Plan B or C when everything hit the fan.”

2.     Petraeus and the Rise of Narcissistic Leaders: The extramarital affair of CIA director David Petraeus may have been a symptom of a larger problem, says Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer in a post at the HBR Blog: an increase in narcissistic leaders. A narcissist exhibits “traits of dominance, self-confidence, a sense of entitlement, grandiosity and low empathy,” and these qualities can help him or her climb the career ladder. But at a price: “While narcissism and the associated behaviors may indeed help people ascend into leadership roles, as recent experience suggests, narcissistic individuals also contain the seeds of their own (self)-destruction.”

3.     Why The Paradigm Shift In Management Is So Difficult: Writing in his Radical Management blog at Forbes, the reliably brilliant Steve Denning revisits an argument he’s been making: that management is undergoing a paradigm shift toward customer focus over shareholder focus. Nevertheless, he adds, it’s neither easy to accomplish or see, and he offers several reasons for this. One of them is this: “The older paradigm is difficult to displace precisely because it has been shown to work in solving problems in the past.”

4.     Dx Comment of the Week: Last week we reviewed Peter Drucker’s six rules for an effective president. When we asked readers if they had anything to add to the list, reader Alba Patricia Valencia had this to say:

Drucker’s rules are marvelous, and they are important for an effective president. But the most important is coherence and consistency between thinking, speaking, and acting, because we should be one between being and doing.