#259-1. Of all the decisions an executive makes, none is as important as the decisions about people, because they determine the performance capacity of the organization.
-Peter F. Drucker
#259-2. "Management" means, in the last analysis, the substitution of thought for brawn and muscle, of knowledge for folklore and superstition, and of cooperation for force.
-Peter F. Drucker
#259-3. I believe managing is like holding a dove in your hands. If you hold it too tightly, you crush it, but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it.
Drucker, the original management guru, has said so many profound things in his usual sober style that are still being fully understood. People decisions—right from hiring to role allocation to promotion—make all the difference. I have always emphasized to members of interview panels that they carry a mighty responsibility on their shoulders. They are the gatekeepers who filter the quality of intake but the question is whether we take sufficient care in training them.
The application of knowledge and thinking in order to manage better sounds like common sense but he pointed it out several decades ago, before the arrival of the information age or knowledge era. In fact, he coined the term, "knowledge worker". In 1959!
The fine balance required in holding a dove is a good analogy for leadership. I think this is related to the dilemma that many leaders face, namely, how much to delegate and let go versus how much hands-on involvement one should have. The answer should be determined by results—both short-term and long-term. If I achiev! e a short-term objective by doing a task myself have I compromised the goal of developing my team? If I let a critical situation get out of hand by refraining from doing what I am good at, all the theories in the world would not change the fact of a leadership failure in attaining the desired result.
The analogy reminds me of another beautiful one from India’s ancient grammarian Panini (whose rules are associated with a fundamental concept of computer science, the Backus-Naur Form) where he! I> advises correct pronunciation to be done like a tigress carrying her cub by her teeth, neither too gentle such that the cub slips and falls nor too hard, which might hurt the cub.! SPAN>