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Inside Drucker's Brain Hardcover – October 16, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Editor and publisher Krames parlays six hours spent with the late father of management, Peter Drucker, into a book worthy of reading and rereading. In December 2003, Krames flew to Southern California in anticipation of two full days of conversation with the 94-year-old guru—and dozens of questions then scaled back to a little more than a half day and six queries. Nonetheless, the result is masterful. Fifteen chapters distill the essence of Vienna-born Drucker, snippets of his life, and a 360-degree appreciation of his prescience. One example is called “Execution First and Always,” which anticipates by many decades the publication of a full range of theories and tactics on the importance of implementation in business, from Larry Bossidy to Ram Charan. Although the importance of people and employees has always been acknowledged but not necessarily trumpeted in U.S. corporations, Drucker, via Krames, delivers a hard-nosed warning about the mandate to treat workers as partners, keep them in the loop, and to remember that, above all, people decisions are the most important decisions. Drucker’s life comes alive in the insertions of information, including his escape from Nazi Germany and the extent of his worldwide audience. A must-read for anyone in business, beginner or wizened pro. --Barbara Jacobs

About the Author

Jeffrey A. Krames is the bestselling author of Jack Welch and the 4E's of LeadershipThe Welch WayWhat the Best CEO's Know, and The Rumsfeld Way, among other books. He has written for The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalBarron'sChicago Tribune, and other publications.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (October 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842224
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #935,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have read and then reviewed more than 40 books by or about Peter Drucker (November 19, 1909-November 11, 2005) as well most of Jeffrey Krames's books. You can thus understand why I was so eager to read Krames's latest, Inside Drucker's Brain, in which he shares what he learned during an extended interview of Drucker in Claremont (CA) in late-December in 2003. As indicated in his earlier books (notably Jack Welch and the 4E's of Leadership, The Welch, and What the Best CEOs Know), Krames conducts rigorous and extensive research and thus was well prepared for what proved to be one of Drucker's last interviews. By then he was 94 when Krames arrived at his home "and he looked every one of those years. He appeared thin and frail. His glasses were thicker than I had imagined, and his hearing aids were very conspicuous. However, it did not take long to discern the sharp mind behind the bespectacled, aged face...He had his own agenda, and was anxious to get started."

Personal digression: How much I wish I could have had the opportunity to take social science and management courses from Drucker that he taught at what is now the Peter Drucker and Msatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont University. For an eyewitness account, please check out William Cohen's A Class with Drucker: The Lost Lessons of the World's Greatest Management Teacher.

Although Krames indicates that, by the time they met, Drucker's physical health had deteriorated and he could no longer continue his classroom teaching, what Krames found inside Drucker's mind was an abundance of information, insights, and wisdom. Even at that advanced age, Drucker's focus was on timely and timeless issues of greatest importance to him. He indicated little (if any) interest in reminiscences.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Baj on March 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was a very fortunate man: I lived two doors down from Peter F. Drucker while I was completing my studies at Claremont during the early 70s. My course of study was not business, but I probably learned more about business from my casual conversations with Dr Drucker than most learn in a lifetime. The 40 years since that I have spent in the international arena were as fun as they were because of Drucker's wisdom--which he shared without limit. I was deeply impressed that the author of this book, Mr. Krames, Got It as well as he did. He not only presents Drucker's wisdom and practical thinking with remarkable clarity; he does so with consummate skill and focus. No jargon, no MBA SlopThink. Just the pure clarity of Drucker thought, presented in a way that will benefit everyone who reads this book. Drucker was right that most executives today are way out of their elements. They have allowed themselves to be deluded into believing that business is far more complicated than it is. He was fond of pointing out to me that most of the business greats in American history (Ford, Firestone, Carnegie, etc.) had high school educations. He reminded me that Warren Buffett will not contemplate an investment or purchase that requires anything beyond first-year high school algebra (while Wall Street continues to use complex tools that obfuscate far more information than they reveal). If you manage a business and want to climb up to the clearer air, read this book. Mark it up. Make it yours. Once when I was with Dr Drucker, a reporter asked him what he thought about some social policy issue. "I don't know," replied Drucker. "I haven't written about it yet!" Inside Drucker's Brain gives you the best ideas that Drucker ever wrote across almost a century of life. And it will show you why his thinking benefited thinkers like Jack Welch, Bill Gates, and even Winston Churchill.
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Format: Hardcover
Of course, reading Peter Drucker's own three-dozen plus books and myriad articles is the ideal way to learn directly from the master. This book by Jeffrey A. Krames is based on a day spent with the then 94 year old Drucker and his own reading of the man's works. If you aren't already well versed in Drucker's thought, you can use this handy and informative book as a introductory volume. Remember, Drucker ran a solo practice. He never built a consulting firm. Yes, he did teach and his students have been writing books and sharing their own take on Drucker's teachings, but whenever you have an author helping you understand the master's approach to management you also get the author's thought, which may be helpful or may be something different than what you are after.

However, where do you dive into the vast sea of Drucker? You will have to invest a lot of time and energy to try and comprehend all that he said and wrote. Maybe you only want a small portion of it. This book can help you find something that sparks your interest and you can dive in at that point.

The book has 15 short chapters. They are:
Opportunity Favors the Prepared Mind
Execution First and Always
Broken Washroom Doors
When Naturals Run Out
The Jeffersonian Ideal
Abandon All but Tomorrow
Auditing Strengths
The Critical Factor?
Drucker on [Jack] Welch
Life-and-death Decisions
The Strategic Drucker
The Fourth Information Revolution
The Leader's Most Important Job
A Short Course on Innovation.

Krames has written other very interesting books and has a nice writing style. He understands how to write about business for businesspeople, and that is no small achievement.

Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
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