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Drucker on Leadership: New Lessons from the Father of Modern Management by William A. Cohen

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Introduction: Peter Drucker and Leadership

There is little doubt that Peter Drucker, the "Father of Modern Management," considered leadership the essential management skill. As early as 1947, he declared in Harper's Magazine, "Management is leadership."[1] Seven years later, in his first book devoted entirely to management, he wrote: "Leadership is of utmost importance. Indeed there is no substitute for it."[2] However, despite these clear early statements, Drucker did at times seem to equivocate about leadership. Only a few short sentences after the statement about the importance of leadership, for example, he added, "Leadership cannot be taught or learned."

Clearly, Drucker was ambivalent about leadership—or at least the idea that it could be ...

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