Updating Drucker: “The most pressing task is to…”

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Peter Drucker was the first and probably the greatest management guru. The first of his 39 books was published in 1939 and the last in 2008, three years after his death. His work and thinking played a major role in shaping the modern corporation.

Even back in the slow-moving twentieth century Drucker was already telling us that “the most pressing task” was to teach people how to learn. But now, when the rate of change has increased so dramatically, I would argue that it is not enough to teach people how to learn. In a world that is changing so rapidly, the most pressing task today is to teach people how to teach themselves.

This, in turn, means teaching people how to lead themselves: how do decide what to learn, learn it, and put it into action. How to identify what matters most them, choose a direction to move forward in, then create a vision that will inspire and motivate them, and then how to update their plans when all around is changing.

If the most pressing task of the late 20th century was to teach people how to learn, the most pressing task for now is to teach people how to lead, lead both themselves and other people.


The Churning is a set of tools for teaching yourself to lead in times of change: both Inner Leadership (building inspiration) and Outer Leadership (creating results).

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