Peter Drucker's Guide to Thinking and Doing

Great strategists are willing to invest in the future. They’re patient, they’re willing to make harder calls.

I’m a big believer that managers have two fundamental jobs.  They have a thinking job called strategy and they have a doing job called leadership.  And I did a piece in tribute to Peter Drucker a few years ago about what is the unique role of the CEO.  But what I wrote about was really what’s the unique role of the manager.  

The principle role of the manager is to make three really big strategic decisions.  The first one is What businesses am I going to choose to play in?  Which consumers am I going to choose to serve?  And the corollary is Which businesses am I not gonna be in and which consumers am I not going to serve?  And then here’s the other big one.  How much am I going to take from the present and how much am I going to invest in the future?  

In our view - Roger’s view and mine - great strategists are willing to invest in the future. They’re patient, they’re willing to make harder calls. They’re willing to make tougher choices and they’re willing to wait.  They’re willing to wait to get their brand, their product or service offering matched up with the right consumer who, in the end, becomes a real advocate and a real ambassador and a real promoter of the brand, not just a user of the brand.

60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Related Articles

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less

NASA launches ICESat-2 into orbit to track ice changes in Antarctica and Greenland

Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.

Firing three pairs of laser beams 10,000 times per second, the ICESat-2 satellite will measure how long it takes for faint reflections to bounce back from ground and sea ice, allowing scientists to measure the thickness, elevation and extent of global ice

Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).

Keep reading Show less