Last week I wrote the first of several installments about the new book Drucker: A Life in Pictures, by Rick Wartzman, Executive Director of the Drucker Institute; with photos by Anne Fishbein (whose work has been displayed in many major museums and galleries), and curated by Drucker Institute archivist Bridget Lawlor. The content reveals a lot about Peter Drucker’s work processes, the thought that underpinned his work, and how varied that work was. In the previous post I mentioned the notes from leaders in business, politics and even baseball. But his involvement and influence extended beyond these worlds. One of the most eye-opening pages contains a short letter to Drucker from the legendary labor leader Cesar Chavez, from February 8, 1982, looking forward to their next meeting ten days later. (Would this be the type of formality taken care of in an email these days?)
Drucker’s social sector work has been well-documented, and is reinforced by the visuals here. He consulted in the 1980s during the tenure of Frances Hesselbein as CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, and pages 98-99 display photos of Drucker’s Girl Scouts sash and lifetime membership. After retiring as CEO, Hesselbein, Bob Buford and Richard F. Schubert started the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, in 1990. (It’s now called the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, and with Jossey-Bass, co-publishes the quarterly journal Leader to Leader, where I have been managing editor since 2011.) Buford, the chairman emeritus of the Drucker Institute, was a longtime friend, colleague and consulting partner of Drucker’s. He’s represented by an 8-point document from 2002, “What Peter Drucker Does For Me.” Buford was instrumental in introducing Drucker to people who eventually led the megachurch phenomenon, which I first learned about through Drucker’s writings in the 1990s. One of its major figures, Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren, also had a longstanding relationship with Drucker. On the page opposite Buford’s is a picture of a specially-personalized copy of Warren’s huge-selling book The Purpose Driven Life.
I’ll continue my exploration into Drucker: A Life in Pictures next week. Until then, it’s worth reflecting on not just how Peter Drucker led a life of such significance and influence in so many spheres, but how we can as well.