CHAPTER  |  THIRTY-EIGHT

Is Leadership a “Marketing Job”?

One of Peter Drucker's far-reaching and integrative ideas isn't well known. This is his belief that good leadership is essentially marketing. People mistake this comment as recommending manipulation, which may be why it is a Drucker concept that is widely ignored. At least, I've never seen it in a leadership book or in a marketing book, except for one of mine. But it was in Drucker's book Management Challenges for the 21st Century, which he wrote in 1999, six years before his death. Leadership, Drucker stated, was a “marketing job.”1

But what was he thinking? Drucker never recommended manipulating subordinates. Quite the contrary. Peter Drucker's view was that all knowledge workers are ...

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