Last week we attended the Peter Drucker Centennial conference in Vienna, Austria and had the incredible opportunity to interview and film world thinkers and leaders who were there celebrating and discussing Peter Drucker’s legacy and the future of management and business in the world. Peter Drucker called himself a ‘social ecologist’ – which is to say he focused on understanding and improving human interaction, our constructs in business, government and communities, and that impact on our lives and environment. Another favored definition is: ‘the study and practice of personal, social and environmental sustainability and change based on the critical application and integration of ecological, humanistic, community and spiritual values’
The key words there are ‘integration’ and ‘application.’ Rick Warren, author of A Purpose Driven Life, attended and gave the opening address at the conference and spoke of the three primary characteristics that defined Drucker’s life and work: Integrity, Humility, and Generosity.
These three traits are the antidotes to the three traps of today’s leaders. The first trap is to segment and partition our lives into work life, home life, sporting life, community-service life, etc., and instead our greatest strength comes from integrating all the disparate interactions, ideas and energies into a unified and integrated whole. The etymology of integrity is from the Latin integer, meaning wholeness, or the unit of one. Rick pointed out that the second trap is to focus and try to remediate what we think are our faults. Often humility is misunderstood to mean acceptance of weakness or inadequacy, when instead humility is freedom from arrogance and pride. And that intellectual freedom gives way to the ability to recognize the marvelous and to embrace wonder and curiosity. And then, importantly, to be inquisitive and open to learning. Rick had a powerful story about how each time he went to visit Peter Drucker and learn from him, he wound up trying to answer and wrestle with Drucker’s own persistent questions.
And finally Rick echoed Drucker’s advice that management and leadership was a liberal art yet a practical calling, and we all need to focus on what we can give and contribute in generosity. The third trap is to hoard. It’s no accident that to be miserly with time, energy, resources, talent, etc., is to be miserable. From Peter Drucker to Rick Warren to you, pause to keep Integrity, Humility, and Generosity ever present.
You can see Rick Warren’s address here. Doris Drucker’s address starts at about minute 35 and Rick Warren’s presentation at about minute 52. Enjoy!