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November 13, 2005

The Loss of a Legend: Peter Drucker, 1909-2005

It might come as a surprise to learn that I didn't know who Peter Drucker was when I came to Minnesota for grad school. Of course, much of my work before Minnesota was very discipline-based, in spite of my growing interest in interdisciplinary work. But, it wasn't until I took a course, Knowledge Formats and their Applications, that I learned of Peter Drucker and his profound influence. Althouh he's credited as "inventing" management, I'd go so far as to suggest that he was a true interdisciplinarian. Every field in my venn diagram--evaluation, linguistics, education, literature--is touched by his work.

Drucker is true inspiration for me. In a relatively recent interview, he talked about his work habits. I'm not sure if this is fuel for the grad student lifestyle, or guilt for not working hard enough, but he was definitely someone who never quit:

Dr. Drucker: Look, stress is bad for people for whom stress is bad. The rest of us -- and I don't know what the proportion it is, but it is a large proportion -- we thrive. I set my own deadlines. I know they are fictitious, but they still put pressure on me. And I think that is the secret. My wife is 88. She is also a workaholic. But believe me, it is constitution more than anything else.

For more about Peter Drucker, check out the following links:

Taipei Times

Wall Street Journal

Wikipedia on Drucker

Perhaps my affinity for Drucker comes from our shared birthday (something I was reminded of in my brief research here). PD, I'll drink a toast in your honor this upcoming Saturday. You truly were a great man.

Posted by chri1010 at November 13, 2005 2:46 PM

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