April 9, 2024

Tom Peters at the Drucker School: A Reflection on Leadership and Humanism

Tom Peters

The Drucker School of Management was honored to host Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence and a leading voice in business management. Peters engaged in a dynamic conversation about the evolving roles of business, leadership, and the critical importance of humanism in management practices.

Peters, whose professional journey has been significantly influenced by Peter Drucker, called Drucker, “the creator and inventor of modern management,” underscoring the foundational role Drucker played in shaping his perspective on management as a practice fundamentally about people, not just processes.

During the event, facilitated by CGU’s Provost Michelle Bligh, Peters emphasized the essence of leadership through personal anecdotes and insights. “Leadership is an intimate act,” he said. “It is not about the charts, the graphs, the equations … it is about people. It is about intense relationships.” This insight reflects our commitment to cultivating leaders who prioritize human connection and empathy.

Peters addressed the critical need for more women in leadership roles, a stance supported by robust data indicating their effectiveness in leadership positions. He challenged the status quo, asking, “So why … aren’t 55 percent of the people on your executive team female?” His call to action highlighted the disparity between the data-driven rationale for more women in leadership and the current reality, urging a shift toward gender equity in leadership.

Peters also discussed navigating the complexities of modern business challenges, including the impact of AI and remote work. He provided a thoughtful perspective, asserting, “I think human judgment [and] individual … relationships are going to be more important, even though they are different.” His comments emphasized the unchanging value of human insight and connection amid rapidly evolving technological landscapes.

Peters’ visit was a profound moment for the Drucker School of Management, offering invaluable insights into leadership, the power of human-centric management, and the urgent need for inclusive leadership practices. His reflections inspired the Drucker community to further embrace the principles of humanism in business and leadership.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Tom Peters for sharing his wisdom and experiences, inspiring us to continue advocating for leadership that champions human values and inclusivity.

View the full conversation with Tom Peters on the Drucker School YouTube.