I’ve seen it many times. We all have. An organization gets a new leader, who is met with great enthusiasm. The employees or members of whatever feel that this leader will correct all the mistakes of the former regime and lead the group to new heights. In six or twelve months, the new leader’s stock has fallen. The staff is grumbling. Everyone feels that nothing has changed. The group is again on the road to perdition.
In this section on leadership, Drucker argues that the leader and the organization, need to solve the problem of identity or espirit de corps. The workers or members need to identify with the organization, with the leader, with the goals of the group. Increasingly, we have attempted to solve this problem with goal alignment exercises, as we have long ago learned that the human mind has an unchanged penchant for criticism. I’m not sure that goal alignment can get at the spiritual connection that Drucker desires. It may be the difference between his age and ours. It may be the difference between his outlook and modern attitudes.
An “ institution must he able to make useful the good and to neutralize or deflect the bad qualities in its members,” he writes, “to be able to dispense with
the superman or the genius, and to organize a systematic and dependable supply of reliable leaders.”