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December 18, 2008

The IDB Project | Chapter 14

The IDB Project is a series of posts sharing summaries, snippets, and takeaways from INSIDE DRUCKER’S BRAIN (Jeffrey Krames)


The Leader’s Most Important Job

“The most important task of an organization’s leader is to anticipate crisis. Perhaps not to avert it, but to anticipate it. To wait until the crisis hits is already abdication.”Peter Drucker

In MANAGING THE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION (1990), Peter Drucker wrote in-depth how “leadership is a foul-weather job.” Meaning, a leader must be “capable of anticipating the storm, weathering it, and being ahead of it." To Drucker, when a leader successfully guides the business out of foul-weather situations, the result is “innovation, constant renewal.”

According to Drucker, managers need four leadership skills to effectively guide a business out of foul-weather.

The first skill is “the willingness, ability, and self-discipline to listen.”

Second is having the patient fortitude to over-communicate to ensure everyone understands what is happening when and why during a crisis.

The third leadership trait managers must have is to insist on perfect execution, yet have the ability to take responsibility for when imperfection happens.

Fourth is to never lose sight of “how unimportant you [the leader] are to the task.” A leader’s job is to serve his company and his team. Their job is never to serve themselves.

Next, Chapter FIFTEEN of the The IDB Project.


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