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The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization Paperback


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The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization + The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (Harperbusiness Essentials) + The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass (April 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470227567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470227565
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

With Peter Drucker's five essential questions and the help of five of today's thought leaders, this little book will challenge readers to take a close look at the very heart of their organizations and what drives them. A tool for self-assessment and transformation, answering these five questions will fundamentally change the way you work, helping you lead your organization to an exceptional level of performance.

PRAISE FOR The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization

"The Leader to Leader Institute has done a great service in bringing us this monograph. Good leaders come up with answers, but great leaders ask the right questions—and this wonderful work helps all leaders do exactly that."
Jim Collins, author, Good to Great and the Social Sectors

"An amazing resource that can help even the most successful organizations become more successful!"
Marshall Goldsmith, author, What Got You Here Won't Get You There, winner of the Harold Longman Best Business Book of 2007

"Peter Drucker's Five Most Important Questions continue to be the indispensable questions an organization must ask itself, regardless of size or sector, if it is determined to be an organization of the future."
Kathy Cloninger, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA

"At a time when the need for more effective management and more ethical leadership is the moral equivalent of global warming, Drucker's common sense and courage should be modeled by everyone."
Ira A. Jackson, dean, Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, and board member, The Drucker Institute

"Nobody, not even Socrates, has ever asked better questions than Peter Drucker. All the personality, all the wisdom is here to make your work dramatically more effective."
Bob Buford, author, Halftime and Finishing Well, and founding chairman, Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management

About the Author

First established as the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Managment, the Leader to Leader Institute's mission is to strengthen the leadership of the social sector. In collaboration with its partners in the private and public sectors, the Institute furthers its mission by providing social sector leaders with the essential leadership wisdom from all sectors and the resources needed to lead for innovation and to build vibrant organizations.

Peter F. Drucker is known as the "father of modern management," and is a best-selling author of thirty-two books including the best-seller The Effective Executive. He is world-renowned thinker on leadership and management and his work has been featured in every major business periodical. A consultant to senior executives for more than fifty years Drucker passed away in 2005. Since Drucker's death, interest in him, his concepts and his books has only grown. His ideas continue to be as relevant today as they were when he first voiced them.

Jim Collins, Philip Kotler, Jim Kouzes, Judith Rodin and Kash Rangan are all well established thought leaders themselves, some with multiple best-sellers.


More About the Author

Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005) was considered the top management thinker of his time. He authored over 25 books, with his first, The End of Economic Man published in 1939. His ideas have had an enormous impact on shaping the modern corporation. One of his most famous disciples alive today is Jack Welch. He was a teacher, philosopher, reporter and consultant.

Customer Reviews

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One of the best management books I've read.
Steve P. Sanders
Drucker has the ability to make complex organizational concepts understandable by detailing a step by step thought process that leads to precise action steps.
Sara B
Focusing resources on what best produces the desired results is what matters.
David

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 38 people found the following review helpful By John W. Pearson VINE VOICE on May 3, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first edition of Peter Drucker's self-assessment tool for organizations arrived in 1993 and introduced these five key questions: 1) What is our mission? 2) Who is our customer? 3) What does the customer value? 4) What are our results? and 5) What is our plan?

This supplementary tool (just 101 easy-reading pages) includes expanded observations from Drucker along with color commentary from six distinguished management gurus, including Jim Collins, Philip Kotler, James Kouzes, Judith Rodin (Rockefeller Foundation president), V. Kasturi Rangan (Harvard Business School), and Frances Hesselbein (chairman of Leader to Leader Institute and former CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA).

Referring to Question #5 on planning, Drucker comments, "Planning is not an event. It is the continuous process of strengthening what works and abandoning what does not, of making risk-taking decisions with the greatest knowledge of their potential effect, of setting objectives, appraising performance and results through systematic feedback, and making ongoing adjustments as conditions change."

Peter Drucker says that one benefit of a self-assessment process is that you can evaluate how you match opportunities with your competence and commitment. And he adds that the time to do a self-assessment is when you are successful, not when your leading indicators are lagging.

This is a helpful new resource for all of us. If you've ordered my new book, Mastering The Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Non-profit, be sure to read the first four chapters (buckets) that expand on the five Drucker questions: the Results Bucket, the Customer Bucket, the Strategy Bucket and the Drucker Bucket.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steve P. Sanders on November 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A deceptively small book full of powerful ideas promulgated by the late Dr. Drucker. A must read for anyone seriously considering, or engaged in leading organizations. One of the best management books I've read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Karen L. Jett, CMA on March 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a quick overview of a good strategic and planning process fueled by asking the right questions, this is the book for you. It includes all the great information we've come to expect from Peter Drucker.

Unfortunately, if you are looking ideas on how to implement this at your company, you will come up short. It's long on theory and short on application. While I really liked its not-for-profit focus, the average company will probably still require a consultant with some expertise in this area in order to bring it to life. - Karen L. Jett, CMA, author of Grow Your People, Grow Your Business
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Great insight into the The five questions to ask about your organization. Very good quick read. Very interesting learning about : Results Bucket, Customer Bucket, Strategy Bucket, and the Drucker Bucket. This book is really grounded with great theory. I recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Faust on January 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a must read for leaders in any organization. Simple questions aren't necessarily simple to answer and these most important questions are not asked often enough. I'm paid to do this work every day and I'm amazed at how few companies even come close to executing on a fraction of Drucker's wisdom.

The 5 questions are not only expounded upon, but layers of other sagacious questions are presented as well. It will prompt you to facilitate your team to ever greater focus and effectiveness.

If AG Lafley and Jack Welch were still learning from Drucker while at the helm, couldn't you?
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sara B on October 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Drucker has the ability to make complex organizational concepts understandable by detailing a step by step thought process that leads to precise action steps. This is an invaluable tool for any manager who wishes to maximize the effectiveness of their team. It helps you translate your organization's vision into dynamic reality.
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This book offers a strategic planning framework for nonprofit organizations. It can help board members set the direction by asking five questions:

What is our mission? The mission must reflect opportunities, competence, and commitment. Drucker cautions: “Never subordinate the mission in order to get money. If there are opportunities that threaten the integrity of the organization, you must say no.”

Who is our customer? “The primary customer is the person whose life is changed through your work... Primary customers may be infants, or endangered species, or members of a future generation.” Drucker notes that customer needs evolve. “And there are customers you should stop serving because the organization has filled a need, because people can be better served elsewhere, or because you are not producing results.” Philip Kotler adds, “Our business is not to casually please everyone, but to deeply please our target customers.”

What does the customer value? “Leadership should not even try to guess the answers but should always go to the customers in a systematic quest for those answers… People are so convinced they are doing the right things and so committed to their cause that they come to see the institution as an end in itself. But that’s a bureaucracy.”

What are our results? “Look at short-term accomplishments and long-term change… One of the most important questions for leadership is, Do we produce results that are sufficiently outstanding for us to justify putting our resources in this area?”

What is our plan? “The plan begins with a mission.
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