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Peter Drucker’s call to future CEOs

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Yo, future CEOs. Peter Drucker would like a word with you.

“The CEO is just a hired hand,” the management guru cautions, quoting 19th-century financier J.P. Morgan. Drucker thinks today’s executives have forgotten that, and he wants you to change it.

Start by carrying solid management principles with you to the top. Example: Smart CEOs methodically build a management team to help them make decisions. But many of today’s celebrity CEOs have no idea what a team is. Your task: Cultivate teams as you rise through the ranks, and maintain them through trust and respect.

Next, keep your greed in check. Compensation inflation for CEOs is wrecking the management teams that do exist, Drucker says.

Morgan formulized that CEOs should earn about 20 times that of the rank-and-file worker. Today, Drucker says, it’s more like 400 times that.

“I’m not talking about the bitter feelings of the people on the plant floor,” Drucker says. “They’re convinced their bosses are crooks, anyway. It’s the mid-level management that is incredibly disillusioned.”

Sound right?

— Adapted from “Peter Drucker Sets Us Straight,” Brent Schlender, Fortune.

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