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The Practical Drucker 

Applying the Wisdom on the World's Greatest Management Thinker

by William A. Cohen, AMACOM, New York, N.Y., 2013, 254 pp. with index, $25 hardcover

Peter Drucker is widely regarded as “The Father of Modern Management.” If you recall the academic challenges of studying management theory in college, you soon remember that Drucker was the most relevant in explaining how to manage an organization. His counterintuitive advice on management set the tone for thousands of business executives and school administrators.

Drucker was a prolific writer and thinker, so to read and understand all of his work would be a daunting task. In The Practical Drucker, William A. Cohen updates about 40 of the management guru’s most important insights and relevant ideas to help solve today’s real-world issues. Cohen is president of the Institute of Leader Arts and The California Institute of Advanced Management and an affiliate of the Peter F. Drucker Academies of China and Hong Kong. He is also Drucker’s first Ph.D. executive graduate so he has worked closely with the subject.

This a riveting book with insights into our modern world of business and the many problems facing managers. Cohen offers advice through Drucker to help leaders avoid failure by anticipating, preparing for and rolling with the waves of change. While this book is written for the business realm, it is an easy application to the world of educational administration.

Cohen offers explicit suggestions for engaging employees, placement and promotion, providing information to employees and how to teach them to develop a management vision for the organization. He also discusses the seven deadly sins and how they relate to leadership in a practical way.

One of the most profound statements made by Drucker was “the first most important leadership decision to be made is the decision to become a leader.” How many of us have bright, capable and talented individuals in our organization who have not made this most important decision? We think they have all of the skill sets to make a great administrator, but they have yet to make the first step. We need more leaders in education. Giving this book to one of these employees just might spark the decision to become a great leader.

Reviewed by Jim Hattabaugh, educational consultant, Fort Smith, Ark.




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