management profession

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Peter F. Drucker, paraphrased the key points that he felt Alfred P. Sloan was making in My Years with General Motors in regard to the profession of the manager, in contrast to Drucker's early writings on the discipline of management.

  1. Management is a profession and the manager is -- or should be -- a professional.
  2. The professional manager has a ""client"" -- as do lawyers and doctors. It is duty to the client that characterizes the ""professional.""
  3. Professionals do not make decisions according to their preferences. They make them according to the facts.
  4. The job of a professional is not to like people. It is not to change people. It is to put their strengths to work. And whether one approves of people or the way they do their work, their performance is the only thing that counts, and indeed the only thing that the professional manager is permitted to pay attention to.
  5. But performance is more than ""bottom line."" It is also setting an example. And this requires integrity. Limited only to these twin boundaries, business performance and performance as example and mentor, there should be absolute tolerance and indeed the greatest diversity.
  6. Dissent, even conflict, are necessary, are indeed desirable. Without dissent and conflict there is no understanding. And without understanding, there are only wrong decisions.
  7. Leadership is not ""charisma."" It is not ""Public Relations."" It is not showmanship. It is performance, consistent behavior, trustworthiness.
  8. Finally -- and perhaps the most important lesson -- the professional manager is a servant. Rank does not confer privilege. It does not give power. It imposes responsibility.