The Daily Drucker

Picking Leader

“Would I want one of my sons to work under that person?”

What would I look for in picking leader of an institution? First, I would look at what the candidates have done, what their strengths are. You can only perform with strength – and what have they done with it? Second, I would look at the institution and ask: “What is the one immediate key challenge?” I would try to match the strength with the needs.
Then I would look for integrity. leader sets an example, especially strong leader. He or she is somebody on whom people, especially younger people, in the organisation model themselves. Many years ago I learned from very wise old man, who was the head of very large, worldwide organisation. He was in his late 70s, famous for putting the right people into the right enterprises all over the globe. I asked him: “What do you look for?” And he said: “I always ask myself, would I want one of my sons to work under that person? If he is successful, then young people will imitate him. Would I want my son to look like this?” This, I think, is the ultimate question.

Extracted from Peter Drucker’s book The Daily Drucker.

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