b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Management is a People-Based Liberal Art

7/26/2006

 

Management is a People-Based Liberal Art

Peter Drucker, who is known as the “father of modern management”, commented on his long life before he passed away at the age of 95. Summing it up, he said that he “looked at people, not buildings or machines.” The man was an innovator and widely respected as the authority on management.

So how is it that corporate practices have strayed so far from his idea? In theory, more rules and laws and company handbooks scrutinize every angle by which people are accountable to the company they work for and in turn, the things the company may and may not do to the employee. But this is hardly the case. Companies don't really look at employees, they look at bottom lines.

There are many aspects to business that remind me of days years back, when I contemplated pursuing a career in the music industry. I was a hardcore music fanatic and worked at my college radio station as Music Director for almost four years. At the very end when I needed to make up my mind I decided against taking an offer to work at a record label because the business struck me as unseemly. If I only knew what I was getting into on the “proper” end by accepting an office, a suit and a determination to survive.

Well let me tell you something: “proper” boils down to what each individual’s threshold for pain is. One man’s poison is another man’s fodder. At this point I’ll never know what would have been working at a label. I do know that what may seem the “proper” path to take, may not be proper at all.

Just an observation.

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