Drucker: Six Rules for Presidents

Peter Drucker is considered the founder of modern management; he is one of the best-known and most widely influential thinkers and writers on the subject of its theory and practice.

I recently (re)discovered his works courtesy of the book recommendations made by Prof Scott Galloway of NYU in our latest MIB interview.

Drucker is held in the highest regard by many people I respect a great deal. Not only Galloway, but also, Laszlo Birinyi (MiB Here) who had Drucker as a professor (and calls him “an inspiration”).

Drucker covered all sort of management techniques, for corporations, non profits, even governments. Birinyi reminds us he even wrote management rules for Presidents, which he published in the Wall Street Journal in 1993.

Here is a brief excerpt:

Six Rules for Presidents – WSJ 9/22/93

We are not for a moment trying or even hinting at some sort of a political judgment, view or conclusion or in anyway reflect a comment on Mr. Trump. The entire article is available on the WSJ’s website and we present it because it is interesting. Nothing more, nothing less.

• What Needs to be Done? Is the first thing the President must ask. He must not stubbornly do what he wants to do, even if it was the focus of his campaign.

• Concentrate, Don’t Splinter Yourself …unless a President makes the risky and controversial choice of only one, he will achieve nothing

• Don’t Bet on a Sure Thing ….Roosevelt had every reason to believe that his plan to “pack” the Supreme Court….would be a sure thing. It imme- diately blew up in is face – so much so that he never regained control of Congress

• An Effective President does not Micromanage… the tasks that a President must do himself are already well beyond what any but the best orga- nized and most energetic person can possibly accomplish

• A President has no Friends in the Administration …they are always tempted to abuse their position as a friend and the power that comes with it

• Sixth rule? Harry Truman advised JFK: “Once you’re elected, stop campaigning.”


Great stuff! Thanks Laszlo!



Drucker on Management: Six Rules for Presidents
Wall Street Journal, Sept. 22, 1993  

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