Peter Drucker

Five Best Books on Leadership and Management

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Sure, I write fiction, mysteries, but of all the books I have written I am most proud of the one non-fiction work, The Language of Excellence. The book codifies the leadership and management concepts that I used to succeed in business. Gary Slaughter, author and nationally recognized management expert, places The Language of Excellence as one of the five best books on leadership and management. This is what he recently wrote:

“Over the past fifty years, I’ve devoured dozens of leadership and management books. In fact, I’ve also taught hundreds of leadership and management workshops to Fortune 500 corporate executives.

In my judgement, The Language of Excellence by Tom Collins is among the best five books I have ever read on this subject. The other four include these classics:

The Motivation to Work by Fredrick Herzberg
The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker
On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis
The Transformational Leader by Noel Tichy

Moreover, The Language of Excellence replaced One Minute Manager on my ‘best five’ list. OMM, written in 1982 by Ken Blanchard and Spenser Johnson, has sold over 13 million copies and been translated into 37 different languages. Despite OMM’s popularity, The Language of Excellence is far more informative and easy to apply.”

Most of my life has been spent in business. As a corporate executive I made and loss money for other people, before going solo. By the time I was running my own company, I had learned what worked and what didn’t work. My lessons were learned on the firing line and by reading and listening to the experts. I am a great fan of contemporary business authors like Jim Collins, Tom Peters, and Nancy Austin. But it was their predecessors, including Peter Drucker, who were at the cutting edge of modern business management methods and leadership concepts. If you are just starting in business, or if you are a seasoned business leader constantly searching for the answers, their works as well as The Language  of Excellence needs to be on your bookshelf. Better yet, they need to on your desk, and in the case of The Language of Excellence, it needs to be in the hands of those you depend on to help you succeed in business and life.

All five of the best books on the subject are available on Amazon and other online bookstores.

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The Language of Excellence is available in hardcover, paperback, and digital formats. Volume purchases for corporate training and gifting as well as signed copies are available on the author’s official website, From now until December 25th enter the code GIFT at checkout for free shipping and a 20% discount. To buy now click on SHOP NOW.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Management Judo

Peter Drucker identified a common behavioral trait among established organizations. One that over time renders them competitively weaker and gives the alert company the opportunity to achieve increased market share through Management Judo—leveraging off of the competitor’s weaknesses for an advantage.  The weaknesses companies tend to develop over time include:

  • A “not invented here” (NIH) attitude that will make the company slow to take advantage of new technology, processes, or materials, etc.  
  • The “Creamer” will concentrate too long on the higher profit, upper end of the market leaving the door open for others to enter the market through the lower end.  
  • Failure to stay in touch with clients will result in the company emphasizing its idea of best  quality or features (Wrong Quality) leaving the customer’s real wants unsatisfied or the price too high.  
  • The “Premium Pricer” is the high price alternative and continues to maintain or even increase price in the face of equal or superior competitive alternatives.  
  • The “Maximizer” keeps adding features to satisfy marginal market elements leaving the door open for the niche company that will provide a simpler, lower cost product or service that only addresses the needs of a particular market segment.  

The marketplace is littered with the bones of those who died at the hands of competitive Management Judo.  It is important to understand that without constant management effort these weaknesses will develop.  For the excellence company that means that the opportunity to gain market share through Management Judo will arise repeatedly.  But perhaps even more importantly, you must recognize that the seeds of these five weaknesses are also within your organization.  They will develop and you will lose market share and eventually fail as a company unless you are continually making changes and altering course to counter their development.  Left unattended they will development.  They are part of the natural changes that pull an organization down.

The successful company must always be on guard against developing Drucker’s identified weaknesses and at the same time remain alert for opportunities it can take advantage of when its competitors fall into the behavioral trap identified by Drucker.

PS:  Buy the Kindle e-book edition of my new mystery, The Claret Murders, for only $2.99.  Nook and IPad editions are also $2.99. A print edition of the book is available from Amazon for $15.99.

Lead Position

Peter Drucker said that only a leading edge position allows a business to achieve results.  Anything less is at best competent which leads to marginal.  Taking a lead position with respect to a product or service does not mean bigger or more costly.  It does mean an advantageous difference in the eyes of the customer.  Excellent organizations pursue lead positions.  How can we remain different and better? That is a question that an effective team is constantly asking.  It is an opportunity to be persistently pursued because lead positions are both transitory and targets for the competition.

 It is a game of leapfrog. The excellence organization is constantly leapfrogging to a new lead position.