Monthly archives of “January 2015

Management Is A Liberal Art

Thirty years ago the English scientist and novelist C.P. Snow talked of the “two cultures” of contemporary society. Management, however, fits neither Snow’s “humanist” nor his “scientist.” It deals with action and application; and its test is its results. This makes it a technology. But management also deals with people, their values, their growth and development—and this makes it a humanity. So does its concern with, and impact on, social structure and the community. Indeed, as has been learnt by everyone who, like this author, has been working with managers of all kinds of institutions for long years, management is deeply involved in spiritual concerns—the nature of man, good and evil.

Management is thus what tradition used to call a liberal art—“liberal because it deals with the fundamentals of knowledge, self-knowledge, wisdom, and leadership; “art” because it is practice and application. Managers draw on all the knowledge and insights of the humanities and the social sciences—on psychology and philosophy, on economics and on history, on the physical sciences and on ethics. But they have to focus this knowledge on effectiveness and results—on healing a sick patient, teaching a student, building a bridge, designing and selling a “user-friendly” software program.

– Peter Drucker

Silent Leadership

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him — worse when they despise him. But of a good leader who talks little when his work is done and his aim is fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves.