Peter Drucker, known for his impact on the development of corporations today, was an influential educator and author. Though he passed away in late 2005 at the age of 95, his influences can be felt today in modern business practices all over country. He was able to predict many trends, even prevalent in today's society, based on his vast understanding of the management theory and practice. The most notable predictions were the rise of Japan as a an economic world power, the privatization and decentralization in the corporate landscape which led to outsourcing, and the concept that price was not the sole factor of consumers when purchasing. Drucker was a master at looking at the entire scope of business, from the smallest levels of granularity and how that would affect the big picture.

Here are 8 of Mr. Drucker’s most memorable and inspirational quotes that helped shape his legacy:

  1. “Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right.” Dividends will always be a result when doing the right thing for the right reason. Temporary material gain is not worth the price of your integrity.

  2. “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” Shift your habits so that they will support your goals, and you will achieve them. If your keep doing the same things, you will keep getting the same results.

  3. “There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.” Make sure that your actions are important enough to warrant your time. If you focus on the tasks, items, or actions that are not actually worth doing, your time will be double to get back on the correct path.

  4. “What gets measured gets improved.” Measure along the way. Measure your actions, your direction, and your results. If there is no measurement, you cannot be sure which actions to take or which changes need to be implemented to adjust so that your results match or exceed what your target goal.

  5. “Results are gained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.” Staying busy is not the same as taking action toward the results. There will almost always be problems that are demanding your attention. Choose wisely and make sure that you are also able to recognize the opportunities rather than just focusing on problem solving.

  6. “So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.” Micromanagement is something that has plagued the corporate world. To be a great manager is to steer the ship, not to tell every crew member what they are doing wrong or getting in their way. Great entrepreneurs, business owners, and managers know that as long as the right people are in the right place, they will flourish and contribute to the success of the whole organization.

  7. “Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.” The managerial team is designed to make sure that the processes and systems in place are being followed and executed. The leader's job is to ensure that the direction of the company is headed toward the desired destination. Furthermore, the actions that the company is taking must be in align with the value proposition, branding, and ethical 'code' set forth.

  8. “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.” It is better to take some risk and reap the rewards, than to sit idle at every opportunity. Taking some calculated risk and seizing an opportunity will allow your company to grow, learn, and prosper rather than wither away.

Peter Drucker

Entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, and even employees who want to advance should take a moment to study Drucker's management philosophy. The principles which he was passionate about have become part the foundation of the same principles that a successful corporation will execute on today.