Several years ago, I had a crazy opportunity to head to California with a few colleagues and spend half a day with Peter Drucker. We arrived the day before and spent hours preparing for our discussion. We had read his books, watched his presentations, studied his key ideas, … and spent our ‘preparation time’ challenging one another on Drucker’s business thinking. We ended our prep time with a coordinated list of 12 questions – each of us would have an opportunity to ask one. The next morning, Dr. Drucker arrived in our hotel conference room to find the twelve of us sitting around the table scared to death to get any words out of our mouths! Dr. Drucker was quite old when we met him, but sharp, smart, witty, fun, nice, friendly… what an amazing learning experience with so many key takeaways.
Rich passed a TED Talk my way – a short talk by leadership consultant Roselinde Torres entitled “What It Takes to be a Great Leader.” As I watched her presentation, I heard many parallels between Torres’ questions and what I learned that day from Dr. Drucker.
Question #1: Where are you looking to anticipate the next change to your business model or your life? Dr. Drucker challenged us on how and with whom we spent our time. He taught us “to manage your time, you need to know where it goes.”
Question #2: What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder network? Dr. Drucker emphasized the importance of a diverse team and how to make individual strengths productive and weaknesses irrelevant.
Question #3: Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past? Dr. Drucker shared with us the value of foresight and the importance of “assessing the futurity of present events.”
Upon my arrival home from that pretty intense day and a half in California, my two young boys were excited to see me. I was eager to share with them my experience of meeting Dr. Drucker, his wisdom, and the profound lessons I had learned. Much to my dismay, my boys were more excited to hear of my chance meeting with Snoop Doggy Dogg who was hosting a pretty rowdy party in the banquet hall next to where we met with Dr. Drucker. (In a sprint to the restroom so as not to miss anything Dr. Drucker had to say, I literally crashed into the SnoopDogg in the hallway! Good grief.)
Please take a few minutes to watch the attached TED Talk