I’m honored that Frances Hesselbein, president and CEO of the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute; and co-author of the terrific new book Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions: Enduring Wisdom for Today’s Leaders, has provided answers to my interview questions  about the book for today’s blog post.


1.  What would you recommend for leaders/aspiring leaders who are now in college or graduate school to read first in this new edition?

Read the section titled “About Peter Drucker.” Knowing his background, learning what the critics at the time said about Peter — Forbes magazine, “Still the Youngest Mind,” Business Week, “the most enduring management thinker of our time,” — will deepen your understanding of The Five Questions. Then, start with Mission. Most aspiring leaders will be familiar with the well known Holstee Manifesto… our pages will share the story behind that Millennial mantra.

2.  You write about the importance of the journey of self-discovery. Is your sense that millennials go about this journey in an inherently different way from previous generations?

Yes. The questions they ask today are almost more important than the answers.

Leadership is a journey – not a destination. The power of the old hierarchy is gone.  Instead the leader of the future understands:

The power of language
The power of example
The power of persuasion
The power of dispersed leadership
The power of circular management
The power of a mission focused, values-based, demographic-driven organization

Millennials are collaborators. They consider learning a shared adventure. Every word, every act, every initiative Millennials share leads with change, changing lives, moving beyond the walls, like never before.

3.   You mention the importance of “commitment to the future.” Is there one of the five questions that is more future-oriented than the others, or are they all future-oriented in different, yet complementary ways?

Question 5 “What is our plan?” is totally future-oriented. Peter taught us to consider what we’re going to do on Monday that is different from the past. Peter taught us that if you do not conclude with a plan, “a good time was had by all, but that is all.”