Peter Drucker – Culture Eats Strategy

Peter Drucker Coaching Tips

Peter Drucker – Culture Eats Strategy – Contents

  • Peter Drucker Biography
  • Peter Drucker’s Big Ideas
  • Interesting Facts and Insights about Peter Drucker
  • Career Advice Quotes by Peter Drucker
  • Business Advice Quotes by Peter Drucker
  • Leadership and Management Advice Quotes by Peter Drucker
  • Books by Peter Drucker
  • Books about Peter Drucker
  • Common Questions about Peter Drucker
  • Videos about Peter Drucker
  • Peter Drucker Quotes

Peter Drucker Biography

Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005) was a management consultant and educator, whose writings contributed to the foundations of the modern business corporation. He is one of the best-known and influential thinkers on the subject of management theory and practice.

He was also a leader in the development of management education, he invented the concept known as “management by objectives” and was the founder of modern management. Drucker predicted many of the developments of the late twentieth century, including privatization and decentralization; the importance of marketing; and the emergence of the information society with its necessity of lifelong learning.

Drucker coined the term “knowledge worker,” and later in his life considered knowledge-worker productivity to be the next frontier of management.


Peter Drucker – Big Ideas

  • Culture v’s Strategy: Drucker expressed the view that Company Culture constrains Strategy and can defeat Strategy. His idea that Culture trumps Strategy has been summarized as “Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast.”
  • Decentralization: Drucker asserted that companies work best when they are decentralized.
  • Blue Collar: Drucker predicted the death of the “Blue Collar” worker.
  • Outsourcing: Drucker, in his writing, used the concept of the “front room” and “backroom” of each business. He believed that a company should be engaged in only the front room activities that are critical to the core business. “Backroom” activities should be handed over to other companies, for whom these tasks are the “front room” activities.
  • Non-Profit Sector: Drucker wrote about the importance of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) before they become popular.
  • Human Resources: Drucker taught that knowledgeable workers are essential to the modern economy and that a hybrid management model best leveraged an employee’s value to the organization.
  • People: Drucker viewed people as an organization’s most valuable resource.
  • Management: Drucker believed that a manager’s job is to prepare people to perform and give them the freedom to do so.
  • Government. Drucker claimed that the government was ineffective in providing the new services that people needed. His ideas dominated in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Planning: Drucker believed that taking action without thinking is the cause of every failure.
  • Community. Drucker came to believe that volunteering in the nonprofit sector was the key to fostering a healthy society where people found a sense of belonging and civic pride.
  • Business: Drucker taught that business needed to manage by balancing a variety of needs and goals, rather than subordinating to a single value.
  • Profit: Drucker taught that a company’s primary responsibility is to serve its customers. Profit is not the primary goal, but rather an essential condition for the company’s sustainability.
  • Focus on Strengths: “Do what you do best and outsource the rest” was coined and developed by Drucker in the 1990s.

“So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”

– Peter Drucker

Interesting Facts and Insights about Peter Drucker

  • Born: Peter Ferdinand Drucker was born in 1909, in Vienna, Austria-Hungary
  • Parents: His mother had studied medicine, and his father was a lawyer and a high-level civil servant.
  • Early Influences: Drucker grew up in a liberal Lutheran Protestant household.
  • Early Jobs: His first worked was as an apprentice at a cotton trading company.
  • Germany: Drucker became a journalist in Hamburg, and then he moved to Frankfurt.
  • Education: He earned a Doctorate in international and public law from the Goethe University Frankfurt in 1931.
  • London: In 1933, Drucker left Germany for England where he worked for an insurance company, and then as the chief economist at a private bank.
  • United States: Peter Drucker permanently relocated to the United States with the approach of WorldWar II, and in 1943, Drucker became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
  • Bennington College: Peter Drucker became a professor of politics and philosophy at Bennington College from 1942 to 1949.
  • New York University: Peter Drucker then moved to New York University as a Professor of Management from 1950 to 1976.
  • Claremont Graduate University: Drucker went to California in 1971, where he developed one of the first executive MBA programs.
  • Occupation: Ducker was a management consultant, educator, and author for most of his later life.
  • Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management: Claremont Graduate University’s management school was named the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management in his honor in 1987. It was later renamed the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management.
  • Age 92: Drucker taught his last class in 2002 at age 92.
  • Consultant: Drucker continued to act as a consultant to businesses and non-profit organizations well into his nineties.
  • Family: Ducker had four children and six grandchildren. Drucker’s wife died in 2014 at the age of 103.
  • Awards: Ducker received, the Henry Laurence Gantt Medal (1959), the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class (1991), and Presidential Medal of Freedom (2002)
  • Died: Peter Drucker died in 2005, at the aged 95, of natural causes in Claremont, California

“When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course. ”

– Peter Drucker

Career Advice Quotes by Peter Drucker

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”

“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.”

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”

“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.”

“Of all the important pieces of self-knowledge, understanding how you learn is the easiest to acquire.”

“The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.”

“A person can perform only from strength. One cannot build performance on weakness, let alone on something one cannot do at all.”

“History has been written not by the most talented but by the most motivated.”

“The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything else will become obsolete over time.”

“People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.”

“The problem in my life and other people’s lives is not the absence of knowing what to do but the absence of doing it.”

“Cultivate a deep understanding of yourself – not only what your strengths and weaknesses are but also how you learn, how you work with others, what your values are, and where you can make the greatest contribution. Because only when you operate from strengths can you achieve true excellence.”

“We all have a vast number of areas in which we have no talent or skill and little chance of becoming even mediocre. In those areas, knowledge workers should not take on work, jobs, and assignments. It takes far more energy to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.”


“Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge are essential resources, but only effectiveness converts them into results.”

– Peter Drucker

Business Advice Quotes by Peter Drucker

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

“Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.”

“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.”

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”

“Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.”

“What’s measured improves.”

“Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice.”

“The key to greatness is to look for people’s potential and spend time developing it.”

Drucker5789

“Meetings are by definition a concession to deficient organization For one either meets or one works. One cannot do both at the same time.”

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

“Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems. ”

“The purpose of an organization is to enable ordinary humans beings to do extraordinary things.”

“Entrepreneurship is “risky” mainly because so few of the so-called entrepreneurs know what they are doing.”

“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship…the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” 

“People in any organization are always attached to the obsolete – the things that should have worked but did not, the things that once were productive and no longer are.”


“The purpose of a business is to create a customer.”

– Peter Drucker

Leadership and Management Advice Quotes by Peter Drucker

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results, not attributes.”

“No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.”

“Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility.”

“One cannot hire a hand—the whole man always comes with it,”

“Plan, organize, integrate, motivate, and measure.”

“There is no such thing as a “good man.” Good for what? is the question.”

“Mission defines strategy, and strategy defines structure.”

“The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths so strong that it makes the system’s weaknesses irrelevant.”

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”

Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion, and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.

“If there is anyone “secret” of effectiveness, it is concentration. Effective executives do first things first and they do one thing at a time.”

“This defines entrepreneur and entrepreneurship – the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”

“Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves – their strengths, their values, and how they best perform.”

Peter-drucker-quote

“Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then help to orchestrate the energy of those around you.”

“Management is about human beings. Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.”

“Effective executives know that their subordinates are paid to perform and not to please their superiors.”

“The leader of the past was a person who knew how to tell. The leader of the future will be a person who knows how to ask.”

“Like so many brilliant people, he believes that ideas move mountains. But bulldozers move mountains; ideas show where the bulldozers should go to work.”

“A man should never be appointed to a managerial position if his vision focuses on people’s weaknesses rather than on their strengths. The man who always knows exactly what people cannot do, but never sees anything they can do, will undermine the spirit of his organization.”

“Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not “making friends and influencing people”, that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”

“The three most charismatic leaders in this century inflicted more suffering on the human race than almost any trio in history: Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. What matters is not the leader’s charisma. What matters is the leader’s mission.”

“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” get the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”

“1. What is our mission? 2. Who is our customer? 3. What does the customer value? 4. What are our results? 5. What is our plan?”


“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

– Peter Drucker

Share this Information to increase Your Influence

Share this page with your network to increase your Influence. Then explore the additional Coaching Information from some of the world’s top experts. Click the links below:


Books by Peter Drucker

  • The Effective Executive, by Peter Drucker, 1966
  • The Practice of Management, by Peter Drucker, 1954
  • Managing Oneself, by Peter Drucker, 2008
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship, by Peter Drucker, 1985
  • The Essential Drucker, by Peter Drucker, 2000
  • Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, and Practices, by Peter Drucker, 1973
  • Post-Capitalist Society, by Peter Drucker, 1993
  • Managing the Non-Profit Organization, by Peter Drucker, 1989
  • The End of Economic Man: The Origins of Totalitarianism, by Peter Drucker, 1969
  • The Five most important Questions you will ever ask about your Organization, by Peter Drucker, 2008
  • Management Cases, by Peter Drucker, 1977
  • The New Realities, by Peter Drucker, 1981
  • The Unseen Revolution: How Pension Fund Socialism Came to America, by Peter Drucker, 1976

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

– Peter Drucker

Books about Peter Drucker

  • The Drucker Difference: What the World’s Greatest Management Thinker Means to Today’s Business Leaders, by Craig L. Pearce, 2009
  • The Definitive Drucker: Challenges for Tomorrow’s Executives — Final Advice from the Father of Modern Management, by Elizabeth Haas Edersheim, A.G. Lafley, 2007

Common Questions about Peter Drucker?

  • Why is Peter Drucker famous?
    • Peter Drucker was one of the most widely-known and influential thinkers on management, whose work continues to be studied by managers today.
  • What was Peter Ducker’s Management Theory?
    • Ducker taught that the two most important things for a business to achieve were innovation and marketing. Drucker taught that management is a liberal art and that it is about much more than productivity.
  • What did Drucker have to say about company culture?
    • Drucker often expressed the view that Company Culture constrains Strategy and can defeat Strategy. His idea that Culture trumps Strategy has been summarized as “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast”.

BIG IDEAS:

“Strategies for Influence” explores and shares the BIG IDEAS from the Leaders of Influence that can help you with your Career, Business, and Leadership. Click on any of the links below to explore the Big Ideas that have influenced our work and culture.

Mini-MBA of the big ideas that have shaped Careers, Leadership, and Business.


Videos about Peter Drucker

The Wisdom of Peter Drucker

Michele Hunt Interviews the iconic Peter Drucker


“Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art.”

– Peter Drucker

Image Credit:IsaacMao, https://www.flickr.com/photos/isaacmao/62322208; Jeff McNeill [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0); Vassia Atanassova – Spiritia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]