Boy, did Peter Drucker know what he was talking about.
An Austrian-born consultant and educator, Drucker is considered the father of modern management philosophy and education. Although he died in 2005, his writings on the dynamics of business corporations and leaders still resonate for me and for many leadership consultants around the world.
Drucker was painfully frank and bluntly humorous in his thinking and writing. One of my favorite quotes, one which I think of often as I travel the world meeting with leaders, captures the essence of the work I do today.
“Only three things happen naturally in organizations,” Drucker said. “Friction, confusion and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.”
True enough. This Druckerism is reflected in one of my own leadership principles: Accountable leaders drive success; mediocre one’s drive failure.
However, philosophy can only take you so far in the pursuit of truly accountable, effective and impactful leadership. Building those capabilities remains a profound, often unfulfilled challenge for far too many organizations. Far too many leaders simply don’t know how or where to start.
It’s the challenge I’ve taken up in my book, The Leadership Contract. Ever since it was first released in 2015, I’ve seen leaders around the world embrace the ideas and start the hard work necessary to become truly accountable.
Although we’ve had great success, we’re always looking for better tools and opportunities to help leaders embrace the principles of the Leadership Contract and the accompanying Field Guide. Truly accountable leadership doesn’t happen by accident. You have to be deliberate in your pursuit, and dedicated in your commitment to the principles of accountability.
To help leaders around the world step up in more significant ways, I am pleased to launch a number of new resources designed to help leaders become more accountable and to build real leadership accountability in their organizations.