The New Age of Responsibility

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 | 42 Comments

Today marks the end of Barack Obama’s first full week in office. In this inaugural release of Drucker Apps, you’ll find tools that can help you become a better manager and leader, whether you’re the president or just a person who’s passionate about performance. These insights—at once timely and timeless—are based on the ideas and ideals of the late Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management.

Drucker’s “Six Rules for Presidents”

“Even the most powerful [presidents] lost effectiveness as soon as they violated these rules.”— Peter F. Drucker, “Six Rules for Presidents”, The Wall Street Journal

Is charisma all it’s cracked up to be?

“Effective leadership doesn’t depend on charisma. Dwight Eisenhower, George Marshall, and Harry Truman were singularly effective leaders, yet none possessed any more charisma than a dead mackerel…Charisma does not by itself guarantee effectiveness as a leader.” — Peter F. Drucker, Managing For the Future

Can government be effective?

“Any organization…needs to rethink itself once it is more than forty or fifty years old. It has outgrown its policies and its rules of behavior. If it continues in its old ways, it becomes ungovernable, unmanageable, uncontrollable.”— Peter F. Drucker, “Really Reinventing the Government,” The Atlantic

  • Can we depend on government to get the right things done? Read more here.
  • Watch Ira Jackson, dean of the Drucker School of Management and state Commissioner of Revenue during the “Massachusetts Miracle,” weigh in on what Drucker would have said about the government’s role in today’s turbulent times

How to make decisions like Lincoln

“Decisions of the kind the executive has to make are not made well by acclamation. They are made well only if based on the clash of conflicting views… Every one of the effective Presidents in American history had his own method of producing the disagreement he needed in order to make an effective decision. Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman—each had his own ways.”— Peter F. Drucker, The Effective Executive

  • Is there enough disagreement in your office to ensure that you’re making good decisions? See page 139 here.


  1. Shawn Jordan
    July 13, 2010

    I am so tired of hearing racist remarks from white american about President Obama. When formal Pres Bush was in office and he caused a war that seem to last forever, I never once heard them say a word while their sons, daughters, neighbors, and relatives were being killed senselessly. Why can’t they give this man a chance. Racism is alive and well in this country. White americans, most of them fail to remember how their forefathers came to this country and stole from the native Indians and they did the same to Africas during the slave trade. They need to wake up and realized that God do not like UGLY!!! What we all sow on this earth, you shall reap in heaven (if they make it there). The decision is not ours… that man is like Mose. He was sent to lead the country out of what Bush put us in!! So face White Americans… you can not undo what God himselft has prevailed!!

  2. Shawn Jordan
    July 13, 2010

    i want Mr. Obama know that I pray for him and his family daily and will continue to pray for him to stay focus and stay STRONG!!!

    • John Seward
      July 30, 2011

      Here is a perfect example of the ignorance that helped to put Obama into office. Uneducated, uninformed and obviously never watched the news when “formal Pres Bush” was in office. Oh, and, hey, Shawn, “God himselt” did not put Obama in office, morons like you did.

  3. Phalana, Communications Manager at the Drucker Institute
    July 14, 2010

    Thank you for your passionate comments, Shawn.

    This conversation on Drucker Apps centers around responsibility and leadership, if you’d like to share something directly related to the topic, we’d welcome your input.

  4. Vincent Balbas
    July 28, 2010

    I am very saddened by the way the administration has turned on those who would see immagration law complied with. We are not talking about anybody but those who have entered our country in an ilegal manner. Those who endanger our society and security, Those people who drag down our economy. They are breaking the law by being here. The last time I campaigned for anyone as hard as I did for Obama was to fight for JFK. Obama has lost my vote as of this moment.

    • karl haible
      November 4, 2010

      hi vincent did you know, the imigration law the state of arizona passed was writen by a croup of 20 to 25 people with interest in the private prison industry and signed by the govener of arizona verbatim who also has interest in the prison industry. the idea was the more people we can arrest the more money we make.

  5. saad shibli
    August 2, 2010

    honable barakobama porsident U.S.A
    please accept my heartly congratulation of your happy birth day. secondly my request is to negotiate with all triorest group and setteled the matter on table wich will be more effetive against teriorism.

  6. Mary White
    September 23, 2010

    President Obama is surfing a Perfect Storm of gigantic deep wide crises, and he is using reason and has good goals. His priority should be the platform plank on new energy/energy conservation based economy, and his stimulus should have been tightly focused to boost industry and jobs in that domain. However, he had to act far too fast to organize that tightly. It is too bad.

    Bush’s tax reductions: Good plan to return to the pre-bush levels (Clinton). President Obama, however, should raise the line to the $300K per year level. People earning $250 and supporting families are among the most overextended and also these are working people – profesionals and business professionals. That is, these are not plutocrats living off high capital investments. They are not multimillionaires. He might get his reforms thru better if he eased off on this group, at least for this term. Nobody reasonable thought the stimulus would be a true repair — just a stop gap.

    President Obama is being blamed for problems he inherited: The debt, having to issue the stimulus, having to bail out Detroit and the big finance firms. Bush drove us into debt with a war coupled with 2 tax breaks aimed mostly at the most wealthy. No President has ever gone to war and siimultaneously reduced taxes. Taxes were astronomical during WWII and came down in steps from there. Detroit is now beginning to pay back, good thing. Extreme conservatives are claiming that Obama wants Big Government to own banks —that is laughable. Conservatives say the stimulus was ineffective and wasteful. Probably largely right, longrange. It was an emergency measure to keep us from the precipice of a real crash. You can’t organize something sleek and focused that fast.

  7. Peter
    October 28, 2010

    Should Obama be re-elected ?
    follow my blog:

  8. karl haible
    November 4, 2010

    It seems like many American people don’t know what they want. the Republicans preach about the deficit spending in the Obama administration, after the republicans under full control of all branches of goverment for 6 years added more then 5 trillion dollars to our national debt. gw Bush started two stupid wars, he never payed, in fact the goverment under republican control did not even show the cost of the wars on the budget . Since Obama is president, the full cost of the wars are on budget and now the people wonder about deficit spending .Did obama bring the American and the world economys to its knees? Or was it the uncontrolled greed of our businesses and people? blaim Obama, Harry Reed and Nancy Pelozy or look in the mirror.

  9. bobo
    November 6, 2010

    i luv America

  10. Tepih
    November 25, 2010

    President Barack Obama in my opinion is so far the best American president …… in addition to former President John F. Kennedy

    • jemeal
      April 6, 2011

      I am happy for him being President …but America is always the same with Obama or no Obama

  11. aribana
    November 30, 2010

    i love obama
    hes my mentor
    love to know him beter if i had the oppotunity

  12. Ginny
    December 10, 2010

    I agree that Obama is one of our best presidents ever. I am ashamed of the Democrats.

  13. ayub
    April 12, 2011

    president barak obama, is doing well,more clever, we are happy that america in with good hand

    we love obama,

  14. Osuogwugwu Emeka
    April 14, 2011

    it is never a crime to be a black man on the surface of the Earth. Obama is a God Sent to Americans, so they can never change or cheat the Nature. Go has made it and so be it.if you doubt it, then trace the history of Americans. God bless Nigeria, God bless America and God bless the World

  15. Alphonce Mchome
    April 17, 2011

    I heartly loves President Obama and constantly praying for the God’s protection to be upon him.

  16. jason
    April 29, 2011

    I am 51 years old and have never voted. You can bet during the next election I’ll cast my vote and it won’t be for this Obama. Yes we can, can what – bend over. He’s just like all the rest, say whatever will get you elected and implement your own agenda once in. In his case – socialism. When I see this guy on TV the tube goes off.

    • John Seward
      July 30, 2011

      Right on, Jason. The only transparency this administration has is no matter what he says it’s a lie and they’re going to do their best to destroy America.

  17. pele
    May 11, 2011

    I love you for been the best

    • michaels
      June 4, 2011

      i love you Pele for acknowledging the fact. Mr. Obama is just good.

  18. pele
    May 11, 2011

    Help us, our country in fully corrupted…

  19. pele
    May 11, 2011

    I want to be US marine, just feed me with food…

  20. waliullah
    May 28, 2011

    President Obama’s Speech in West Minister was accomplishing. The President of the United States is now the only superpower to lead the world. Though his speech he tried to focus on the character traits of humilty he tried to be confident and everimposing as the US President should have been.Inspite of the barbeque diplomacy in the war veterans congregation the
    Cameroon grilling the US President in lush green terrace seem to be drawing the attention of intellectuals all over the world. The strong message of self dependence on own resources is a timely economic calculation by the US president hinting that no more charity could be offered.

  21. waliullah
    May 28, 2011

    President Obama’s Speech in West Minister was accomplishing. The President of the United States is now the only leader of a superpower to lead the world. Through his speech he tried to focus on the character traits of humilty he tried to be confident and ever imposing as the US President should have been.Inspite of the barbeque diplomacy in the war veterans congregation the
    Cameroon grilling the US President in lush green terrace seem to be drawing the attention of intellectuals all over the world. The strong message of self dependence on own resources is a timely economic calculation by the US president hinting that no more charity could be offered.

  22. slraghavendra
    May 30, 2011

    sir am kindly requesting to put pressure on India, china,and Africa about family planing in such way that ,that WORLD DO NOT PROVIDE ANY SHELTER TO(MEANS PROVIDING FOOD, MONEY , ANY NATION ISSUES AND ALSO PLACE IN WORLD ORGANIZATION) THESE NATION UNTIL THEY CONTROL POPULATION

    your faith fully

  23. Khalid Masood
    July 12, 2011

    Message to President Barack Obama.
    I believe in my motto: “Study is the best revenge, war is not destiny.”
    America is country of research, knowledge, universities, colleges, passion, and “Theory of Everything !”
    War is not destiny of United States !!!

    Khalid Masood
    Creator/ Author: “TIME THEORY OF EVERYTHING”

  24. Cyndi
    July 18, 2011

    Mr. Obama

    I sit here tonight wondering how long I am going to be able to hang on.
    It has been a fight for me all my life. It was ok though . Life is hard but thats ok , it builds character
    and make you stronger each time you fall. At least that’s what I have always told my son’s.
    I am now turning 60 this year , I have struggled with Mental illness and other our goverment, that we are to count on is taking everything away from me that I will not be able to live my life out.
    No Medicare, no Social Security Disability or medical care for the poor.
    Shame on you all . How do you feel at night when the day is done ? Do you think about the elderly , or the kids that are sick and the parent, that sits and crocks that child telling them that it is going to be ok . Daddy and Mommy is going to make it al right.
    While these parent’s hang their heads to cry so their children can’t see.

    I have been there so many time’s . I know how hard it is . I remember the look in there eye’s as the fear went away.

    I am not a mean person, and would never say something that I did not feel strongly about but.

    All the people in our goverment . You sit in session after session trying to make decision for this country. While we the people are drowning , We feel no hope . People like me , that are mentally ill. the poor ,the elderly.
    How can you all sit down with your family and friend’s and have a good meal and know that your children are not of need of anything.
    Tonight when you but your children to bed and the ask you to read a story . Or, just want to talk to you about their day.
    I want you to stop and think to yourself . I wonder how many families ate tonight , how many children are crying because the don’t feel good or just being hot with this ungoodly weather.

    I always thought our Congrssman were our voices . The only voice they hear are of the ones saying to themselves.You know I feel so bad that this is happening to our country and the people we are to stand up for.
    I am glad it’s not me and my family

    I quess it’s true what I have heard my life about goverment


    Is there ever going to be a President that really is for the people of this country ?
    Some say yes . I hope to see it in my life time .

    • John Seward
      July 30, 2011

      The people in DC don’t care about us Cindy, especially not the Democrats. All my life I’ve heard how the Democrats are for the poor and the downtrodden, yet when I look at the Party, I notice that it is made up of the richest people in the country. Gates, Buffett, Wall St. brokers, Hollywood celebrities. Every one of those Wall St bankers and every other company that got a piece of that bailout ALL MADE DONATIONS TO OBAMA. Pelosi, who was rich to start with, has made another 27 million in the years since BO was elected. The Democratic Party is filled with the same type of people they claim to be against. How can they be against the wealthy when they ARE the wealthiest. The DC elitists think they are smarter than the Average American and they look at our country’s citizens as nothing more than a cash cow.

  25. ali
    July 24, 2011

    i am an iranian.i am living in iran.
    why do i come here?
    because i am tired.
    reigan& 2 bushes & klinton and obama have just tormented us (iranian people).until when?
    you dont understand about all things.nothing.nothing.
    i dont compliment our government,but your government lie very much.
    they engaged benladen,sadam(provoke against iran) …etc.
    now, they are your enemy.
    please dont say,you are obliged that you must engage persons or governments against probable wae. you have good and armed hold it in your dont hold it in iraq and afganestan.
    yes,i know,your country is big and advanced.
    if you to be relaxed and notbe worry,all country respect you.
    i hope tobe relaxetion in all our world.
    we are all theist,so we must respest togather.googdbye.

  26. j mickens
    July 26, 2011

    stop rolling over , take a stand, use the constitution and raise the debt limit

  27. rainbow
    August 6, 2011

    obama iloveu

    • rainbow
      August 6, 2011

      you are the best!

      • Maurine Goodenough
        August 10, 2011

        I feel for President Obama. I am 78 yrs.old. I can remember attending Scientific study meetings with my dad. He was a member of Technocracy Inc. It started with a group of Scientists, Those high in Physics, Engineers etc. Incorrperated under the laws of New York as The Technical Alliance. The studied the PROPERTIES of MONEY. All of what is going on now was predicted. There were people all over the country helping to study this. It was a threat to the capitalistic system as they came up with a design of operation without the use of money using energy accounting. This would provide everyones needs as a right of citizenship. No crime as impossible to hoard, sell, trade, bribe, no waste etc. Standard of living higher than you could immagine . All would come into balance and every need being met free. The recomend an Energy Certificate that would be cancelled every 2 yrs, unused energy going back into te system and a new card issued only good to you. As you can immagine the gov’t done everything possible to sweep them under the rug. It took 15 years for these scientists to come up with this design. Even today a politican cannot be a member. It is not communism.
        Yes, they still exhist, it is time to take another look at this design. Please go to Technocracy Inc. and investigate this. They still have the orrigional STUDY COURSE.

  28. Khalid Masood
    August 16, 2011

    Research is the best revenge. War is not destiny!
    America is country of research, knowledge, colleges, universities, passion,culture, art, sciences, democracy, justice, peace, Nobel laureates, and Theory of Everything!

    Khalid Masood
    [email protected]
    Creator/Author : “TIME THEORY OF EVERYTHING”

  29. Thomas Jones
    August 23, 2011

    I don’t care for 22.8 % true unemployment nor do I care for Obama recieving the Nobel Peace Prize a week before he waged America’s 4th war, Libya, Yemen and Iraq as well as Afghanistan. I don’t like knowing 46 million Americans are on food stamps and we are 15 trillion dollars in debt with no end in sight.
    This is not about race. I’m sick of him

  30. Khalid Masood
    September 1, 2011

    Democracy need research in beggar countries like Pakistan.

  31. Khalid Masood
    September 8, 2011

    “Democracy is the government of the foolish people, by the foolish people, for the foolish people.”
    Khalid Masood Creator/Author “TIME THEORY OF EVERYTHING”

    January 16, 2012

    Forget nationalism. One of the greatest tragedies in mankind’s entire history may be that morality was hijacked by nationalism. Nationalism promote violence and discrimination.
    Nationalism is the mother of all crimes. All mankind is brotherhood. To me “A new nation is born” is a dangerous sentence. Quran opposes racism and fascism. We have lost millions of people in the name of nationalism. We have also lost humanity in the name of nationalism. To me all nationalities are my nationalities. I love Indians. I love Americans. I love all nations. I have created this “Cosmopolitan Republic” as a fan to honor the cosmopolite [Citizen Of The World]. I’m proud to be cosmopolite.
    Hopefully, an official release will be made.

    Khalid Masood
    The founder of “Cosmopolitan Republic”.

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    [...] blogging in this fashion during the last election in 2008, so the president-elect may well have missed out on our advice the last time around. But Peter Drucker often used presidents as case studies in leadership [...]


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