doing the right things or doing things right

Came across this quote on my iGoogle page today:

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
– Peter Drucker

I’m reading this in terms of classroom leadership. And in light of the recent conversations about teaching and teachers that have been erupting across the blogosphere. (Read my last few posts to get links if you’re at all interested)

I like the distinction Peter makes. It’s a good one.

I like this picture of him (Peter Drucker) because it reminds me of my grandfather. The image is from, in Managing Ignorance: The Passing of Peter Drucker, from 2005.

Peter Drucker


  • mijo says:

    very nice…. mike

  • TracyRosen says:

    I like that Marcy – having our hands on the right things. When an organization has a collective realization of what the right things are for them together, well that's magic.

  • TracyRosen says:

    I like that Bennis quote, reminds me of one that consistently inspires what I do when I teach or when I used to develop PD for/with other educators:

    “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  • TracyRosen says:

    Sounds to me like that is doing the right thing right there.

  • Zack Allen says:

    One of the first things I discovered when I first became a principal was that just doing the right thing was not enough. Leadership implies a social construct – doing the right thing individually is enough in itself, but doing the right thing organizationally requires doing it at the right time and involving the right people for the right reason. Eduction is littered with lots of people with good intentions (wanting to do the right things), but we have all heard the saying – “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Wanting to do the right things and jumping into action is not enough. An organization needs quality leadership that can direct the right people on bus in the right seats and who can effectively map the right route for the bus to take and schedule the right times for its' bus stops. And, when I speak of leadership, I am not speaking about an individual leader, but the leadership density of the organization.

  • mijo says:

    Hi T…. hope this finds you well! I always liked that quote too!

    Here are a couple of my favorites:


    The manager administers,
    the leader innovates.
    The manager has a short-range view;
    the leader has a long-range perspective.
    The manager asks how and when,
    the leader asks what and why.
    The manager accepts the status quo;
    the leader challenges it.
    The manager does things right;
    the leader does the right thing. (Bennis, 1989
    ***“Effective leaders put words to the formless longings and deeply felt needs of others.”
    (Warren Bennis)

    ***“A leader is a juggler, a person who maintains a dynamic vision of “what could be” while dealing with the everyday “what is” crises and mundane demands.”
    ( Matusak & Young, 1997)

    thanks for adding me on twiter… just starting to play with it…mike

  • Marcy Webb says:

    Your post brings me back to one of the more positive recollections I have while a member of the Junior League. It was a Saturday training workshop, the focus of which was leadership. The presenter made the following statement, which has remained with me: An organization must have its hands on the right things.” I think this statement speaks well of what schools which strive to be learning communities must do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *