My Mentors’ Lessons from Peter Drucker

Here are five lessons Peter Drucker highlights in the book “Leader to Leader,” that he learned from three mentors. 


  • Treat People Differently, based on their Strengths
  • Set high standards, but give people freedom and responsibility to do their jobs
  • Performance review must be honest, exacting and an integral part of the job
  • People learn the most when teaching others
  • Effective leaders earn respect, but they don’t need to be liked 

Learners Win

I was reminded of this truth today in a conversation with another team members. Learned win. By win, I mean they thrive, the grow, they understand how to leave a legacy and adapt their leadership. In our ever-changing world the skill of adapting to new situations is increasingly valuable. It is less what you know, and increasingly more your ability to learn and adapt that will help you flourish in every sense of the word.

These are the 6 keys to being a great learner

1. Learn from everyone around you| Those ahead of you am behind, those below and above you. Everyone has a perspective, insight or experience that you don’t have and can benefit from.

2. Ask questions instead of complaining| It’s easy to feel defeated and discouraged when you try something and fail. It’s easy to let a negative attitude get embedded in your spirit when situations or people are working out the way you had hoped.  Instead of focusing on blame shifting, make it productive and learn from the failures.  Ask questions that will turn a failure into a unbelievable learning experience.  We are shaped and grown just as much through success as we are through failure.  Failure forms our character in a way that success doesn’t if we don’t short-change the process.

3. Value having a great question over a great answer in a conversation with others| It is that simply.  This will move you further into a learning posture when you seek to ask great questions. This doesn’t mean you don’t share from your experience or hold back on your insights, it just means that learns look to find the right question over posturing their intelligence

4. Find a few good learners to walk beside| Find some other guys or girls who are great learners and walk beside them.  Just being around another learner will lift your learning capacity  and inspire you.

5. Learn outside your field of expertise| Especially in the pastoral leadership arena, I see this as an issue.  Find a channel for learning that stretches you beyond the normal field of your interaction.  Read a magazine that you normally wouldn’t pick up, utilize the endless opportunities on the internet that are free like TED, ask others who are outside of your field what they are reading.  Find avenues to learning that stretches you outside of your normal routines.

6. Be an intentional learner| Schedule it.  Plan it.  Value it.  Guard your learning time.  Make sure you stay green and growing.  Intentionally set learning plans that will enable you to stay fully alive and will cause you to be a blessing to others around you.  Nothing great happens randomly, but rather it is sought after and fought for.  The same must be true of your commitment to being a learner.


Q-What do you allow to hold you back from being the best learner you can be?