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Peter F. Drucker interviews on managing bosses and the tools managers need
Peter F. Drucker
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
The Drucker Institute
Contributing Institution
Claremont Colleges Library
Drucker Archives
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For permission to use this item, contact The Drucker Institute,
In the first interview, they begin by discussing the one problem that’s an issue for all managers--managing his/her boss. By managing the boss, Drucker is referring to making sure the boss is informed of the employee’s intentions and work, and making certain to not underrate the boss. He then discusses the difference between having a reader vs. listener as one’s boss, and one that expects/wants flattery vs. one that does not. This is part of understanding the boss as a person and adjusting one’s approach to dealing with him/her. Drucker then talks about the importance of thinking through what one is trying to do, so that the boss is not surprised. In particular, Drucker cautions against hiding problems from the boss, and that it’s important to communicate issues that arise before they become more serious. However, he also states that responsible and intelligent managers will anticipate problems and control the management battlefield proactively. Drucker goes on to state that there is no risk in overrating the boss, and that one should not work for an incompetent or corrupt boss. If the boss is a paragon, however, it is easy to stay too long and become a servant. He therefore argues that one should look at a job and ask what can I do for the job, and what can the job do for me. Drucker closes the interview asserting that employees do not have to like or hate their bosses; they do, however, have to manage them so that he/she becomes the employee’s resource for achievement, accomplishment, and personal success. In the second interview, they begin by discussing the tools a practicing manager needs from day to day. Drucker states that managers need to know how to use meetings, for instance, as a tool. Drucker proceeds to discuss the importance of appraising performance, and the value of abandoning the old in order to innovate. Drucker then discusses how meetings need effective utility control--they should be controlled so as not to have them become a habit. He states that meetings can be used to inform subordinates, to have workers inform the manager, and to have discussions among all groups. They proceed to talk about the proper length of an interview and what should be included in interview reports to make them effective. Assignment control and performance appraisal are the next topics, and Drucker notes that appraisal of the performance is different from appraisal of the person. He then states that developing people is one of the key components in managing organizations, and goes on to describe how to effectively mentor strong workers that show promise, in addition to what the manager owes to their workers. Drucker asserts that the manager should always set an example for their workers, and that organizations should focus less on human relations and more on getting tasks done. This view correlates with Drucker’s final point that managers should pay attention to the proper time for employee abandonment and outplacement. Drucker closes the interview reflecting on the session and the tools managers need to do their jobs effectively.
Drucker, Peter F. (Peter Ferdinand), 1909-2005
Claremont Graduate University
Claremont Graduate School
Claremont Graduate University-Faculty
Claremont University Center
Management - Employee participation
Management by objectives
Management science
Employment (Economic theory)
Employees - Training of
Employee selection
Original recording, 1977; Drucker Archives; Box 68
Drucker Archives -

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